Mobile coverage obligations

17 November 2020

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, 434.2 KB)

Mobile Operators were required to submit Initial Radio Plans to Ofcom in August 2020, with Ofcom required to comment on whether these were plans developed on a reasonable basis which if delivered would meet the 2020 coverage obligations. Ofcom wrote to all MNOs with its assessment in November 2020: