Mobile Phones: Aerials

Home Office written question – answered on 18th January 2017.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Labour, Rhondda

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will take steps to ensure that all four mobile network operators are available on all Emergency Services Network masts in (a) the Rhondda, (b) Wales and (c) the UK.

Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Labour, Rhondda

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Emergency Services Network masts there are planned to be in the Rhondda.

Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing and the Fire Service)

In delivering the Emergency Services Network (ESN), the mobile network operator EE will deliver up to 291 new mast sites. Government will deliver approximately 230 further sites (known as the “Extended Area Services” (EAS) sites) in the most remote and rural areas of Great Britain.

EE has indicated that they aim to provide commercial services from all the new sites that they are building for ESN and the EAS sites although this may be dependent on the backhaul technologies used at sites to connect the site to EE’s telecommunications system.

Under the terms of the State Aid decision for ESN, any ESN site where EE offers a commercial service must be made available to the other UK mobile operators and interested parties to provide their own a service on an equal and non-discriminatory basis

For EAS sites, the principal objective is to provide coverage to meet the needs of the emergency services, but the Home Office is working with the Welsh Government, Scottish Government and DCMS to identify any proposed mast locations which could improve mobile coverage in future, with a view to ensuring these are built to a specification which could accommodate multiple operators.

No new masts are planned for the purposes of ESN in the Rhondda constituency, because EE have confirmed that their existing site network will provide the coverage required.

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