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Estimating the value of mobile telephony in mobile network not-spots - RE0263

Despite high levels of 2G mobile coverage in the UK, areas without signal, referred to as ‘not-spots’, remain. There are approximately 80,000 premises in not-spot locations, affecting around 3 per cent of the population of the UK. Lack of mobile phone connectivity affects different aspects of life but the impact is most acutely felt in particularly isolated rural communities and for those rural businesses that require a degree of mobility for their activities. In this context, the Government has recognised the value of mobile network connectivity and effective use of mobile services has become part of the wider digital inclusion agenda.

This research project is co-funded by DCMS and aims to increase understanding of the range of costs and benefits to different population segments, arising from provision of mobile coverage in complete not-spot areas in rural locations within England.
The project will seek to estimate the direct and indirect costs and benefits to be gained from eliminating not-spots. It will cover at least the following benefits:

• The value to residents and businesses, including the number of residents with mobile phones and the saving of existing costs of obtaining coverage on existing networks;
• The improvement to business productivity and/or profitability resulting from ready access to mobile telephony having been provided;
• Social or community benefits resulting from improved connectivity including enhanced social resilience in the face of change which might arise from more frequent social connection and formation and use of social capital;
• The value of improvements to emergency responses; and
• Benefits to visitors.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Mobile network not spots final report   (13753k)
• SUM - Summary Report : Mobile network not spots summary report   (207k)
• TRP - Technical Report : Mobile network not spots technical appendices   (457k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2014

Cost: £108,278
Contractor / Funded Organisations
RAND Europe
Rural Development              
Fields of Study
Rural Affairs