Ofcom varies licences of network operators to improve coverage

Ofcom varies licences of network operators to improve coverage

Regulatory body Ofcom has announced that it has varied the licences of four UK operators with a view to improving mobile coverage across the country.

The move makes a commitment for EE, O2, Three and Vodafone to offer as much as 90 per cent of coverage to the UK by the end of 2017.

It comes on the back of a separate move by the government and all four companies in December 2014, which was aimed at increasing mobile coverage.

The use of the various is, according to the regulator, set to coincide with consultations on annual licence fees for 900 MHz and 1800 MHz spectrum bands, which are both used for 2G and 3G, including voice calls, as well as certain 4G services.

Following the 4G auction in 2010, the government told Ofcom to revise fees in order to reflect their true value.

Improving the level of coverage and quality of service are two objectives that are high on the agenda for Ofcom, with demand for superfast mobile broadband seeing a large amount of growth.

Ofcom has subsequently claimed that it has been making significant progress on improving the performance of 4G services, stating that it has managed to provide the tools needed for consumers to take advantage of quicker mobile connections.

The organisation has already published findings the quality of mobile voice services and mobile broadband speeds in 2014, and it is widely expected to reveal findings connected to mobile data over the spring.

The regulator claims the research will help to support consumers make the right choice in their mobile service, without harming the level of competition within the rest of industry or the quality of connections.

Ofcom's ambition to make the uK more mobile has also seen it work with the government on a £150m mobile infrastructure project that will lead to the funding of new mobile phone masts in uncovered areas.