Mobile coverage obligations

27 July 2021

2020 coverage obligations

On 9 March 2020 the Government announced that it had entered into an agreement with the four mobile operators to provide grant funding to deliver a ‘Shared Rural Network’. Under the terms of this agreement, each mobile operator has committed to providing good quality data and voice coverage to 88% of the landmass by 30 June 2024, and 90% by 30 June 2026, subject to certain conditions (including the provision of funding for elements of the programme).

The mobile operators have agreed to their 900 MHz and/or 1800 MHz licences being varied to give effect to these commitments in the form of new coverage obligations. Each operator has also agreed to meet certain coverage thresholds in each UK nation after four and six years, and provide a certain extent of new coverage in areas where roads and premises are located. Details of these commitments can be found in the licence copies published on the Mobile and Wireless Broadband below 5 GHz page.

Following the Government’s agreement with the four mobile network operators to develop the Shared Rural Network to improve mobile coverage, we have published the methodology we will use to measure mobile companies’ compliance with the coverage commitments in the agreement. Shared Rural Network Compliance Methodology (PDF, 582.8 KB)

We are today publishing the following updates to the 2020 coverage obligations and our Shared Rural Network Compliance Methodology:

  • We have implemented the change to the definition of ‘Subsequent Coverage Deadline’ to January 2027 in the relevant licences and implemented changes to paragraphs 2.5 and 4.36-4.37 of our Methodology. These updates reflect changes made to the Grant Agreement between the four mobile operators and Government in light of the current process for subsidy control;
  • We have also updated the reference to the dates of the Grant Agreement and our Methodology to reflect the fact that both documents have now been updated, and corrected some cross references in our Methodology