Mobile firms sign up to £1bn rural coverage plan

The companies that run the UK's mobile network have agreed a deal to eliminate signal dead zones in remote areas.

The Shared Rural Network aims to extend 4G coverage to 95% of the UK, no matter which network customers use, by 2025, three years later than first planned.

The deal involves sharing network equipment but almost collapsed last month in a row between operators.

Taxpayers will pay half the £1bn cost, which will include new masts. EE, O2, Three and Vodafone will pay the rest. 

The government says the plan will "make poor and patchy rural phone coverage a thing of the past".

It should guarantee coverage to an extra 280,000 premises, along 16,000km (10,000 miles) of roads - particularly in so-called "not-spots", where there is no service at all.

The government says Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will see the biggest improvements.

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