Tag Archives: 3G

Siren Marine Launches Next Wave Of Connected Boat Tech

siren-ss

 

New Technology Brings Peace of Mind to all Types of Boaters, Benefits Fleet Operators and Boat Builders

Siren Marine LLC, a pioneer in Connected BoatTM technology, has announced a late-May 2017 release date for its breakthrough MTCTM boat monitoring and tracking system, and companion iOS and Android apps.

More than two years in development, Siren Marine’s MTCTM technology enhances the overall boating experience by eliminating worry. This next generation 3G cellular system gives boaters the power to know — wherever they are — that their boat is safe, secure and ready to enjoy. Because it is affordable, easy to install and comes with a choice of cost-effective subscription options, the MTC is a practical solution for boats ranging from center consoles and bass boats to cruising sailboats and trawlers.

“As long-time boaters, we understand how valuable time on the water is,” said Siren Marine CEO and Founder Daniel Harper. “Our technology connects people with their boats in ways we’ve now become accustomed to with our homes and cars — empowering them to predict and prevent problems, rather than just react to them. With the MTC, boaters have the peace of mind that when they arrive at their boat with family and friends, they won’t find dead batteries, a flooded bilge, or worse,” added Harper.

A sophisticated base unit engineered and constructed for marine use is at the heart of Siren Marine’s MTC system. Paired with a variety of wireless and wired sensors, the MTC lets boaters “check in” on their vessel from their home, office or on the road. GPS tracking makes it easy for owners to see where the boat is, for added security and peace of mind when family members and friends are using it. Even when they’re not thinking about their boat, the MTC will automatically alert owners via the Siren Marine app to a variety of critical conditions, such as unauthorized entry/motion, battery voltage, bilge status, temperature and vessel location. No longer will boaters have to stress over such everyday situations as dragging anchors, leaky through-hull fittings or pesky marina neighbors “borrowing” their shore power cable.

 

In addition to the confidence and security that come with remote vessel monitoring and tracking, the MTC gives boaters unparalleled ability to control key onboard systems. The ability to remotely trigger an alarm or control cabin and cockpit lights, air conditioning, battery switches and more from a smartphone or computer not only enhances security, but also reduces prep time and helps get boaters out on the water and having fun faster.

This ability to monitor, track and control vessels remotely bring a range of important benefits to boat builders and fleet managers, as well. Siren Marine’s MTC will help charter companies, boat rental clubs and commercial fleets stay on top of where vessels are located, how they are being used, and how key systems are functioning — improving safety while minimizing down time and maintenance.

Affordability, ease of installation and intuitive operation were key design goals for the MTC — making the technology accessible to a wide spectrum of boaters. A choice of wired or wireless sensors lets boaters configure the optimal system for their vessel, needs and budget — as well as their personal DIY capabilities. MSRP for the MTC is $599, and the MTC-Plus, which will be available later this year, includes the base unit and four wireless sensors for just $799. With affordable yearly, monthly and seasonal (April-October) wireless subscription plans, boaters can find the most cost-effective option for their boating lifestyle.

To ensure the best possible coverage for boaters, Siren Marine has partnered with global cellular provider Vodafone. With reliable 3G service from a world communications leader, cruisers using the MTC will benefit from seamless international roaming as they travel from country to country. Wherever the destination or port along the voyage, the peace of mind that comes with the MTC will be along for the journey.

Siren Marine plans to expand its offerings later in the year with the addition of two new products. The MTC-Pro will offer even greater functionality and capabilities, while the MT will provide a scaled-down version of this technology, ideal for yacht tenders and other small boats.

Source: Siren Marine

 

Telit Ships World’s Smallest 3G/2G Dual-mode IoT Module

6163317-9208833

UE866-EU ultra-miniature is market’s smallest 3G module with 2G fallback

Telit, a global enabler of the Internet of Things (IoT), today announced commercial availability of the UE866-EU, an HSPA module banded for European and Asian markets. With its ultra-compact 15x25mm LGA footprint, the new module is ideal for IoT applications with stringent space constraints such as telematics OBDII dongles, health monitoring devices and connected wearables.

Leveraging a hardware and software platform design validated in more than eight million shipped modules, the UE866-EU dual-band HSPA module with fallback to GSM/GPRS provides system integrators with a proven, long-term deployment option for a wide range of IoT applications. The Telit IoT Portal-ready UE866-EU also enables solution providers to take direct advantage ofTelit IoT Connectivity and IoT Platform services designed for hassle-free device-to-cloud onboarding. Telit’s “design once and deploy globally” development philosophy makes it easy for customers to deploy devices anywhere in the world by simply selecting regional or technology variants from the same form factor family.  The xE866 family includes broadly carrier certified and regional regulatory compliant 2G, 3G and LTE Cat 1 modules.

“The launch of this module is an important achievement for us. It is the result of significant R&D not only to fit the electronics but also to make the RF in the dual-band 3G and 2G modems perform to traditional Telit standards, in a module barely bigger than one of the keys on your laptop keyboard,” said Ronen Ben-Hamou, Telit Executive Vice President of Products and Solutions. “New technology and strategies we developed here will enable us to keep bringing extraordinary breakthroughs in module miniaturization as we reaffirm our commitment to innovation leadership in the IoT.”

The UE866-EU is a dual-mode, dual-band UMTS|HSPA, GSM|GPRS, 3GPP Release 7 compliant module. It supports 3G 900/2100MHz and 2G 900/1800MHz bands, delivering 7.2Mbps downlink and 5.76 uplink data rates. The new module supports application development inside module through the Telit AppZone application development environment, includes digital voice support and is ideal for new and upgrade designs, particularly for redesign projects aiming at reducing bill of material costs and/or device dimensions.

Source: Telit

​3G in the jungle: The cheap femtocells at work in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon

amazon-rainforest

For sparse, isolated communities in the Amazon rainforest, the idea of getting 3G seems unlikely, but researchers have just proved it is possible, with low-cost tech.

Communication really matters to people, whether they live in a megalopolis or the world’s most isolated rural areas.

Yet in the past 15 years the huge increase in access to mobile telephony in developed countries generally hasn’t extended to remote areas inhabited by low-income populations.

These communities have mostly been ignored in terms of technological growth because conventional access and backhaul technologies can’t give operators a good return on their investment.

But now the European TUCAN3G project, led by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) is aiming to prove that situation can be reversed.

The project is using new wireless technologies for access networks based on 3G femtocell deployments, with the possibility of even moving to 4G, as well as WiLD (wi-fi for long distance), WiMAX, and VSAT satellite comms.

Femtocells are small, low-power cellular base stations, which resemble wireless routers and act as repeaters to boost signals.

“The great advantage of these small cells is that they work with solar energy. They’re easy to install, and their maintenance is quite simple because they can be remotely configured,” Josep Vidal, UPC researcher and director of the project, tells ZDNet.

“Moreover, they’re much cheaper. A classical station might cost up to €40,000 [$45,000] while a small cell is priced at €500.”

Vidal says this cost factor has been key in the economic viability of the project, funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union with €1.68m ($1.88m) and developed with the participation of 11 partners, including the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC), the Universidad Católica del Peru, the Peruvian Telecommunications Investment Fund (FITEL) for the provision of universal access, and Telefónica.

“Economic viability is crucial. It should be noted that in a rural area the return on investment is 1,000 times lower than in a city,” Vidal says.

Despite that financial disadvantage, he is convinced the project has met the expectations of operators and consumers.

“We’re satisfied with the results of the project as the demonstration platform was in a very remote area of the Amazon rainforest, with a sparse population,” he says.

“Yet, we solved three main difficulties: the backhaul capacity, the cost of base stations, and a business model adapted to the population. People now can get voice over IP for a $7 to $10 flat rate and pay for downloaded kB.”

Over the past three years, instead of a single platform to connect four existing populations in an area of 400 square kilometers, as initially planned, the project has managed to install two platforms supplying 3G telephony to six villages on the banks of Napo river and Balsapuerto area in north-eastern Peruvian Amazonia.

In each settlement, a couple of small 3G cells enable users to communicate with their relatives, coordinate health services or, for example, negotiate the price for their crops.

The femtocells link to a long-range 802.11n wi-fi network based on the one already used by the Hispano-American Health Link Foundation, with its 19m-high towers spaced 30km and 70km apart. Those signals travel to the operator’s backbone network.

Beyond this technological achievement, Vidal also believes that a crucial point is that they have been able to convince the local government to encourage the development of small mobile rural operators connected to the Telefónica backbone to ensure future connectivity in the region.

Things are moving forward, and now the project has entered its next phase, with which the UPC is no longer linked. The Corporación Andina de Fomento, a development bank with headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela, is investing $800,000 in replicating the experience in another 15 villages of Loreto, Peru’s northernmost region.

According to Vidal, this new deployment will be crucial in fostering development and growth in the communities.

He says finding innovative solutions to connect these regions is an utmost necessity. In Peru, there are still 5,000 local populations without mobile telephony access.

TUCAN3G seems to prove that the development of sustainable and long-term self-sufficient solutions for communities with less than 250 inhabitants is economically viable. Since this system has been in place, users have been making 40 calls per day on average. The experience, Vidal says, is exportable to other rural and isolated areas, including those found in developed countries.

In Spain, there are already some initiatives, such as the Guifi.net telecoms network, that aim to provide quality access at a fair price where operators have failed to do so. It uses the best available technologies and offers internet connection up to 10Gbps.

Yet, according to Benjamí Villoslada, general director of technological development in the Balearic government, in five to10 years, we won’t hold data or process information at home and instead will use the cloud, so we’ll need the low latency provided by fiber and 5G.

In fact, wi-fi will not survive if it doesn’t evolve, he says. Still, for the moment in the Peruvian jungle, 3G networks are playing a vital role in expanding public access to essential communication.

tucan3g1.jpg
This graphic shows the various technologies used to send a 3G signal from Libertad to Lima.Image: TUCAN3G

 

Source: ZD Net. Anna Solana.IT Iberia

 

Realm Pictures Create New Genre Of Interactive Video Game Using Peplink Connectivity

Realm Pictures is a film production company based in the UK that has created a new genre of live interactive video game events. Their first was the Live First Person Shooter which they filmed in their studio grounds using local fixed line connectivity. When they went to film the second level in a disused power station which had no fixed line connectivity available, they realized that they needed a different way to obtain reliable, high bandwidth, low latency Internet connectivity to make it work.

After searching for a solution that could use multiple 3G/4G LTE cellular connections they discovered Peplink SD-WAN technology, and contacted Grapevine Connect – a local Peplink Partner, to help.

Grapevine Connect has now worked on two productions with Realm Pictures – the latest being a series of real life interactive Hitman games for Io Interactive, where multiple 3G/4G LTE connections were bonded at the location and connected over SpeedFusion VPN via a FusionHub virtual appliance in the cloud to the Internet. This not only gave Realm Pictures a high bandwidth, reliable, low latency Internet connection, but also allowed for inbound connections from the Internet to on location set pieces (like a remote controlled machine gun) providing a full interactive experience for the end users.

For Realm Pictures, Peplink SD-WAN enables them to consider bold exciting locations for new levels and future projects, safe in the knowledge that Grapevine Connect and Peplink SD-WAN will enable them to connect to their audience and players successfully – wherever in the world they may be.

“We didn’t have a single problem with the cellular – it was super robust, very impressive! [and] on a shoot like this [that is] utterly utterly vital.” -David Reynolds. Artistic Director, Realm Pictures.

Please click here for more information>

For more information on how Peplink can provide connectivity for your business please e-mail or call Co-Star on: sales@co-star.co.uk t: +44 (0) 1423 340066

 

Sierra Wireless next-generation embedded modules offer integrated device-to-cloud architecture for the Internet of Things

sierra wireless

Newest AirPrime® WP Series modules enable developers to go from prototype to production quickly, with integrated application processing, a Linux-based embedded platform, cloud connectivity, and an open hardware reference design

Sierra Wireless have introduced the next-generation AirPrime® WP Series of smart wireless modules, designed to reduce system complexity and accelerate the development of connected products and applications for the Internet of Things.

“With the introduction of the new AirPrime WP Series modules, we have launched a powerfully integrated device-to-cloud architecture to make it easier for our customers to innovate,” said Dan Schieler, Senior Vice President, Embedded Solutions for Sierra Wireless. “With an application processor running the open source Legato™ platform, along with the AirVantage® cloud for device and application management, and a new open hardware reference design, the latest WP Series modules enable developers to quickly build connected products using a single module to run all their applications.”

The WP Series is interchangeable and completely footprint-compatible with the AirPrime HL Series, and is available in 3G and 4G LTE variants with 2G fallback on certain modules. Like the HL Series, the new WP Series modules can be soldered down or used with a socket, for flexibility in manufacturing and inventory management. The form factor, called CF3™ (common flexible form factor), will be supported by Sierra Wireless through multiple generations of both WP and HL Series product lines, providing a secure migration path for customers through multi-year deployments.

The next-generation AirPrime WP Series offers industry-leading ultra-low power mode for applications that need to prioritize power management over constant connectivity. This deep-sleep mode is ideal for industrial solar- or battery-powered applications where constant connectivity is not required, opening up new use-cases for cellular connectivity where it was previously impractical.

For OEMs and developers, the integration of processors and device software with wireless functionality can be complex and time-consuming, even more so when modifications are required for each region and each generation of the product. If location-based services are required, a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver must be integrated as well. Furthermore, the data from the wireless connection, the connected asset, and its location must be aggregated and delivered to enterprise applications.

The next-generation AirPrime WP Series is designed to address all of these issues. It offers an integrated processor and a GNSS receiver, reducing the number of components, integration time, and cost for developers. The Linux-based Legato platform running on the module’s processor provides the modem services needed to get the module communicating on a cellular network, plus an application framework and secured processing space to run third-party applications. Through Legato, AirPrime WP modules are pre-integrated with the AirVantage cloud for simple, secure configuration and management of the device and its data once deployed.

For more information about the new AirPrime WP Series, as well as the open hardware reference design (Project mangOH™) and IoT connector open interface standard, also introduced today at the Sierra Wireless Innovation Summit in Paris, please visit http://www.sierrawireless.com/WP_launch.

Cradlepoint launches New COR IBR350 and Secure VPN

 

 

Cradlepoint COR IBR350: Perfect for digital signage, kiosks and ATMsCradlepoint have launched the latest model in their COR IBR range of products, the COR IBR350, as well as their latest Software-as-a-Service product, Secure VPN.

The new Cradlepoint COR IBR350 provides a low cost option perfect for machine-to-machine applications, enabling the essential remote monitoring and management of digital signage, ATM, and kiosk estates. Compact and high performing, the IBR350 gateway has been designed for reliable enterprise connectivity and, when coupled with Cradlepoint’s Enterprise Cloud Manager, is a fully cloud-managed solution.

Providing reliable and high speed cellular connectivity, the IBR350 is able to support a range of uses:

 

Parallel networking

Many organisations require and rely on the advanced technologies available today to improve consumer and worker experience. Taking retail as a prime example of this, retailers deliver digital signage across their stores to help guide and enhance their customer’s shopping experience to build loyalty and value. Digital signage systems however rely on a connection to the Internet for remote management and content delivery, which is generally managed by a third party.

Allowing this third party, however trustworthy, on to the primary network is often not an option though, as it potentially weakens the retailer’s network security and performance. By installing a cellular device such as the IBR350 however, the digital signage provider can establish their own independent network which runs parallel to the retailer’s, keeping it secure, while also enabling a dedicated remote monitoring and management service.

 

Primary connectivity

In addition to cases where a parallel network is required, the IBR350 also enables primary connectivity in areas where fixed lines cannot physically reach or are not a financially viable option to install. For example Kiosks are placed not for optimised Internet reach, but instead for optimised usage by consumers – and often the two can conflict. By installing the IBR350 a cellular connection can be delivered to any location though, providing instant remote access to the terminal.

 

Securing your connection

With a constantly expanding network edge, IT Managers need to be able to secure the network using architectures that scale quickly and are easy to maintain – Cradlepoint’s Secure VPN release delivers a virtual private data network, minimising both the cost and complexity of achieving this. It allows you to:

  • Deliver secure/private access to your corporate Intranet from branch offices
  • Set up and maintain networks in minutes – no special skills required
  • Support any access transport (Wired/Wireless/Metro-E/Satellite)

Secure VPN is a simple console integrated with Enterprise Cloud Manager, and is instantly and infinitely scalable to suit your business needs.

 

 

For more information on the Cradlepoint COR IBR350 please follow the link below or call Co-Star on: +44 (0) 1423 340066

http://www.co-star.co.uk/prod/4040/cradlepoint-ibr350lp3-router.html

 

 

Image provided by Marco Govel / Shutterstock.com

 

Co-Star’s Latest RF Connectors for Wireless Applications

C23SRP_025SP-RPCo-Star has developed a new range of RF connectors and adapters  for connecting external antennas to Wireless Routers, Mobile Data Terminals (MDT’s) and other wireless devices.

FME Male to TS9 Male Right Angle Adaptor Cable

The TS9 connector is often used across a number of cellular, GSM, 3G and 4G dongles, data cards and modems. Very similar in appearance to the CRC9 connector, the TS9 plug has a  gold plated centre pin and circular barrel with slots at the end. The C74-FP-025TS9RA cable has been designed to quickly & easily  covert an antenna terminated with an FME female which is a common connector used for mobile applications to TS9 without having to re-crimp. Co-Star have used a right angle TS9 connector to ensure secure connection into the wireless device. The cable length is 250mm of RG174 coax.

SMA Male Reverse Polarity to SMA Female AdaptorCF_40

Widely used by Wi-Fi equipment manufacturers RP SMA connectors are designed to prevent consumers from accidently  connecting antennas with gain which would breach compliance. The female RP-SMA connector has the same external housing as a standard or conventional female SMA connector, which consists of an outer shell with the threads on the outside; however, the center receptacle is replaced by a male pin. Similarly, the RP-SMA male has threads on the inside like a conventional male, but has a center receptacle instead of the male pin in the middle.

The CF.40 adaptor has a Reverse Polarity male and standard SMA female to enable engineers to convert a standard SMA male which is a commonly used as standard by antenna manufacturers to SMA Male Reverse Polarity.

SMA Male Reverse Polarity to SMA Female Reverse Polarity

Manufactured using low loss RG58 coaxial cable (250mm) the C23SRP.025SP/RP SMA Male RP to SMA Female RP cable extension can be used to convert the genders of RP SMA connectors on antennas or as a cable extension.

Source: Co-Star

 

Vodafone expands Integrated Terminals range with USB Connect and MachineLink 3G Plus

Vodafone launches two new M2M terminals, making it even easier for 627x321_m2m_integrated_terminalsenterprises to benefit from the Internet of Things. USB connect is a convenient dongle that’s tough enough for industrial use; MachineLink 3G Plus is a powerful M2M router with versatile interfaces.

M2M projects can be complex: unless all the different elements work seamlessly together – from terminals deployed at the edge of the network right through to core business applications – problems can emerge.

Vodafone Integrated Terminals give businesses the ability to access M2M connectivity, services and hardware from a single provider.

Integrated Terminals is a range of high-quality M2M hardware devices, selected by Vodafone to suit a variety of different Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Each device is pre-configured, tested, supplied and supported by Vodafone along with our M2M connectivity, to ensure a fast and hassle-free deployment worldwide.

Now Vodafone has added two new devices to the Integrated Terminals range: MachineLink 3G Plus and USB Connect.

USB Connect offers all the convenience of a consumer-style USB dongle form-factor, with the power and manageability of an enterprise-class M2M modem. It’s certified for light industrial use, handling extended temperature and humidity ranges, and supports quad-band 3G data. That means it’s great for use in digital signage, point of sale, industrial automation and healthcare applications. Unlike many USB modems, USB Connect has full remote-management capabilities through the Vodafone Global M2M Platform, including over-the-air configuration, diagnostics and firmware updates.

For more demanding applications, MachineLink 3G Plus is ideal. In a compact chassis it features serial, USB, Ethernet and multipurpose I/O connections, plus GPS for location sensing and an open source Linux OS with software development kit for easy customisation. Thanks to its versatile range of mounting options and pentaband 3G radio, it’s adaptable for use in a wide range of M2M applications on networks around the world.

Like the other devices in the Integrated Terminals range, USB Connect and MachineLink 3G Plus are backed by Vodafone’s global M2M SIM, simple tariffs, powerful management platform and professional services expertise. With more than 18.6 million M2M connections in use and more than 20 years of experience in the field, Vodafone is the first choice for M2M.

Source: Vodafone

Antennas & Cable Assemblies for improving Smart Meter performance

C23SP-SSmart Meters can be installed in remote areas with limited network coverage so antennas & RF cable assemblies play an integral part in the performance of the Smart Meters in these situations.  Co-Star supply a range of Panorama antennas that offer excellent performance across a wide bandwidth which are designed to improve the network coverage and enable better performance when transferring and monitoring data over the cellular network the performance of the devices.

Good network coverage is vital to the performance of a smart-meter and a good quality antenna can improve the performance  by  maximising the signal strength and enhancing  the LPB-7-27-200x200network coverage.

Co-Star have a specialised range of Panorama antennas for smart meter applications that work across all cellular frequencies including: GSM/2G/3G/4G and have different mounting options to suit the location, environment & type of device.

RF Coaxial Cable Assemblies

Co-Star also manufacture RG58 low loss coaxial cable assemblies used to extend the cables on antennas. These can be supplied in any length and with any combination of connector including: SMA, FME, TNC, N series and even Reverse Polarity connectors. We manufacture these in the UK and can turn them around very quickly so if you have an urgent requirement than please let us know. We can also manufacture cable assemblies using other low loss coaxial cables including LMR400 for applications that require long extensions.

Below are a few different option of the antennas & cable assemblies that we supply but we have many more. Please call or e-mail us for more information: t: +44 (0) 1423 340066 e: sales@co-star.co.uk

Antenna Smart Meter/M2M/Vending Machine Cellular

Low Profile Cellular & LTE Multiband Antenna Panorama

FME Female – FME Male RG58 Cable Extension (5m)

Consumers and businesses set to benefit from guaranteed £5b investment into UK’s mobile infrastructure

base stnCulture Secretary Sajid Javid today (Thursday) announces a landmark deal with the four mobile networks to improve mobile coverage across the UK.

As part of its long-term economic plan, the Government has secured a binding agreement with the mobile networks EE, O2, Three and Vodafone to tackle poor signal issues in so-called ‘partial not-spots’.

These are areas within the UK that have coverage from some but not all of the four mobile networks. Depending on the network consumers are on, they may have no coverage in these areas.

Under the agreement all four of the mobile networks have collectively agreed to:

  • a guaranteed £5bn investment programme to improve mobile infrastructure by 2017;
  • guaranteed voice and text coverage from each operator across 90 per cent of the UK geographic area by 2017, halving the areas currently blighted by patchy coverage as a result of partial ‘not-spots’;
  • full coverage from all four mobile operators will increase from 69 per cent to 85 per cent of geographic areas by 2017;
  • provide reliable signal strength for voice for each type of mobile service (whether 2G/3G/4G) – currently many consumers frequently lose signal or cannot get signal long enough to make a call; and
  • make the deal legally binding by accepting amended licence conditions to reflect the agreement – it will be enforceable by Ofcom.

No cash payments will be made by Government to the mobile networks as part of this agreement.

This deal will also result in cutting total ‘not-spots’ where there is currently no mobile coverage by two-thirds. This will support the Government’s existing £150m programme to take mobile coverage to the areas of the UK that have no coverage at all.

As a result of the agreement, many areas will receive better data coverage, some for the first time. During the recent consultation process, consumers made it very clear that they feel any solution should include better data coverage.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“I am pleased to have secured a legally binding deal with the four mobile networks. Too many parts of the UK regularly suffer from poor mobile coverage leaving them unable to make calls or send texts.

“Government and businesses have been clear about the importance of mobile connectivity, and improved coverage, so this legally binding agreement will give the UK the world-class mobile phone coverage it needs and deserves. The £5bn investment from the mobile networks in the UK’s infrastructure will help drive this Government’s long-term economic plan.”

Whilst discussions with the mobile operators on a voluntary solution continued, the Government consulted on various legislative options in November 2014 to ensure that the issue of poor mobile coverage was addressed. This voluntary binding agreement secures a better deal for consumers and businesses as it:

  • will halve partial not-spots and reduce complete not-spots by almost two-thirds;
  • guarantees £5bn investment by mobile networks in the UK’s mobile infrastructure – potentially creating jobs and a boost for the UK economy; and
  • provides some of the best coverage of any major European country – underpinning the Government’s long-term economic plan.

As part of the agreement, the Government:

  • will bring this agreement to the attention of Ofcom in the context of their work to revise Annual Licence Fees – this is the subscription fee mobile networks pay Government;
  • intends to reform the out-dated and ineffective Electronic Communications Code to make it easier for the whole communications sector to rollout out new mobile and broadband services, and increase choice for consumers; and
  • is allowing many of the Government’s freehold buildings to be used as sites for mobile infrastructure – potentially opening up hundreds of sites to boost mobile coverage, including areas where is has been previously difficult to rollout network coverage.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee said:

“EE is focused on bringing the best voice and data service to its customers across the UK, and only last week announced 1,500 unconnected villages will soon benefit from EE coverage. This agreement ensures that our customers are able to stay connected in even more places up and down the country.”

Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer of O2, said:

“A partnership between government and the mobile operators is required to maximise coverage across the UK, so this agreement is a good outcome for our customers. It will support investment in our network, while ensuring that strong competition remains between the different networks.”

Dave Dyson, Chief Executive of Three, said:

“We’ve doubled the size of our network in the past five years and we continue to invest to maintain a great network experience for our customers. Today’s agreement reflects the strength of our network today, our plans for the future and our commitment to bring its benefits to more people and more places than ever before.”

A Vodafone UK spokesperson said:

“We support the Government’s objective of delivering better coverage to rural areas including partial not spots. This is why Vodafone is already spending £1 billion on our network and services in the UK this year alone and will continue to spend a similar amount next year as well.

“The voluntary industry commitment we have agreed with the Government today will deliver 90 per cent of the UK’s land mass with voice services and a major improvement in mobile internet coverage as well. It is a great result for UK consumers and businesses and it will make the UK a leader across Europe in terms of the reach of mobile coverage.”

Mobile networks will now take forward their plans to improve mobile coverage and Ofcom will monitor progress regularly. The Secretary of State expects the operators to meet an interim goal in 2016, and will be receiving updates on this.