4G Network

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 22nd November 2012.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

EE is already deploying 4G services in 11 cities, and will be doing so in five more before the end of the year. We expect further 4G services to become available by mid-summer. It will of course be for the operators to decide when they will become available in Central Bedfordshire.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous Conservative, South West Bedfordshire

My constituency is only 34 miles north of the House of Commons, yet large parts of it, such as the village of Studham, have almost no mobile phone coverage. Many complaints have been raised with me about that, particularly by people running businesses and working from home. Will 4G help them?

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

4G should be helpful to them in the next few years, but I would also say that we take the issue of partial not spots, where there is not universal coverage, very seriously. That is one reason why we are looking at making it easier to deploy mobile phone masts and increase mobile phone coverage, particularly in areas such as the one described by my hon. Friend.

Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Shadow Minister (Home Affairs)

Has the Minister seen reports this week showing that the failure to roll out 4G speedily will cost £120 million at Christmas alone—in sales just next month? Does he accept that the Government’s failure to deliver 4G speedily has an economic impact? Will he indicate when 4G will be available in my area and throughout the Principality of Wales?

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The spectrum for the 4G services that are going to be auctioned only became available when we completed the digital television switchover in October. We followed the previous Government’s timetable for that, so if anyone is to blame for the delay, it is them.