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July 30, 2013

Details on Government’s mobile coverage plan revealed

The Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP) is supposed to improve coverage in areas where there is no coverage available.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

The Government has revealed the areas that will benefit from a boost in mobile coverage from before the end of 2015.

The Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP), which was first announced in 2011, is supposed to improve coverage in areas where there is no coverage available for 60,000 homes.

The government has already named a number of sites that stand to benefit most from plan, including Cornwall, Northumberland, Strabane, Aberdeenshire and Powys, with the first sites due to "go live" by the end of the year.

Extending mobile phone coverage will help connect rural communities, create local jobs and contribute to national growth, the Government claims, as well as increase safety and security for emergency services.

The Government is providing the capital funding for telecoms company Arqiva, which won the contract earlier this year, to build the necessary infrastructure.

All four major UK operators, EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, have also agreed to back the project and fund their own costs for the 20-year life of the project.

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: "This project will see mobile phone coverage extended to many of the people who currently live and work in areas where there is none. The project will provide a significant boost to local economies across the UK, and will be instrumental in helping Britain win the global race."

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Kevin Salvadori, technology director of Vodafone UK, added: "Being able to make mobile phone calls plays such an important role in keeping local communities in touch wherever people live or work.

"Our belief in the benefits that mobile coverage can bring to rural communities is why Vodafone is supporting the Mobile Infrastructure Project. In partnership with the Government, this project will help deliver coverage to more people, in places that are currently very hard to reach."

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