Mobile Phones: Northern Ireland

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 6th February 2019.

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Photo of David Simpson David Simpson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to improve mobile phone coverage in Northern Ireland for those who cannot receive any phone reception.

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

We want the UK to have high quality mobile coverage where people live, work and travel. We are committed to extending geographic mobile coverage further to 95% of the UK by 2022, as well as providing an uninterrupted mobile signal on all major roads.

Coverage in Northern Ireland continues to improve. Ofcom report that 98% of the landmass has 4G coverage from at least one Mobile Network Operator, up from 95% a year ago. However, while there have been significant improvements in coverage, the Government recognises there is more to do.

We welcome the proposals set out in Ofcom’s consultation on awarding the 700 MHz and 3.6-3.8GHz spectrum bands to improve coverage in rural areas across the whole of the UK, including Northern Ireland. We continue to work with industry to support investment and deliver coverage improvements.

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