Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has released a new London mobile connectivity standard agreement to address areas of poor mobile phone coverage in the capital.
London residents use around 38 million gigabytes of mobile phone data per year, accounting for around 20% of all data used in the UK; but businesses and community members have raised concerns over the prevalence of ‘not spots’, where mobile phone coverage is patchy or absent. Under the new London mobile connectivity standard agreement – which forms part of the mayor’s Connected London initiative – the process of installing new mobile network equipment is to become more streamlined, supporting 4G connectivity in areas where coverage is currently poor and 5G connectivity as the UK 5G rollout takes hold.
Theo Blackwell, London’s Chief Digital Officer said: “Today good mobile coverage is an expectation for all those who live, work or visit London. This guidance is part of the Mayor’s commitment to enhance mobile and fixed connectivity in the capital. It helps end uncertainty which has stopped or slowed infrastructure being put in place across London with a new, consistent approach. At City Hall we are working to ensure we have the digital connectivity infrastructure needed through our new Connected London programme, to support Londoners in areas of poor connectivity and assist the future roll out of 5G, which will hugely benefit businesses and the public alike.”
Catherine Haslam of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Telecoms Forum Board said: “Mobile coverage, alongside the Connected London initiative, are critically important to both telecommunications’ connectivity and high technology use within the built environment. Commercial real estate, business, and public mobile users need global telecommunication systems to operate efficiently and be fit for their purpose. Standardised access agreements are an essential step towards easing issues and delay in the telecommunications infrastructure development process and removing mobile ‘not spots’ will crucially provide high speed services to owners, occupiers and the public. The imminent arrival of 5G technologies makes this initiative even more timely.”