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Mobile phones: Cumbria

Department for Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 3rd November 2014.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Party Chair, Liberal Democrats

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what progress his Department has made in improving 3G and 4G mobile telephone signals (a) nationally and (b) in Cumbria since 2011.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy (Jointly with Department for Culture Media and Sport)

The first 4G services were launched in the UK on 30 October 2012. Ofcom auctioned 800 MHz and 2600 MHz spectrum in January/February 2013 for 4G mobile broadband services including for a licence won by Telefonica O2 which included a coverage obligation to reach 98% of the UK population indoors by the end of 2017. All four mobile network operators had launched 4G mobile broadband services by the end of 2013 and all are aiming to reach 98% of the UK population by the end of 2015.

According to Ofcom’s Infrastructure Report 2013 Update, over 99% of UK premises were served by at least one operator offering 3G services, with almost 80% of premises served by all operators. That report did not provide figures for 4G mobile broadband coverage although EE claims coverage of over 75% of the UK population with its 4G services. The next Ofcom Infrastructure Report will be published before the end of the year and will include 4G coverage data

According to Ofcom, over 94% of premises in Cumbria could receive a 3G signal from at least one operator although only 53% of premises received signal from all operators. 4G services have been launched by at least one operator in Cumbria.

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