Department for Culture Media and Sport

improving mobile infrastructure

We have committed £150 million in capital expenditure to improve mobile coverage and quality where existing coverage is poor or non-existent. 
Procurement for the Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP) began in spring 2012, and the project will be completed by 2015. Businesses and consumers should start to benefit from improved mobile coverage in 2013. This will be achieved by working with industry to address mobile not-spots.

Improving coverage and service quality across the UK

Some areas of the UK are not provided with any mobile coverage by mobile network operators and other areas receive low quality coverage which results in a poor level of customer experience.

In certain areas of the UK – particularly rural areas - there is a limited commercial case for market-driven private investment to improve coverage and quality of service.

Increasing mobile connectivity will support business growth, extend access to key public services which are delivered online, and bring an improvement for mobile customers across the UK.

Supplier engagement

Pre-procurement phase

Potential providers were engaged before the procurement phase. Draft requirements for the MIP, including commercial requirements were produced from this process. 

MIP industry day

An MIP industry event was held on 8 May 2012 in London. The aim of the event was to provide industry and potential providers with an overview of the MIP programme and procurement activity.


Pre-Qualification Questionnaires were completed by bidders; these determined whether suppliers had the capability to deliver a project. Following short-listing in June 2012, below, in alphabetical order, is a list of potential providers for the next phase:

  • Airwave Solutions
  • Arqiva
  • Telefonica
  • Vodafone

Read the Contract Notice and advertisement for this procurement exercise.

We may also continue to engage with industry stakeholders beyond the procurement process, as long as they are not directly involved in the MIP procurement. This will exclude any participating shortlisted Potential Providers or those involved, or seeking involvement, in the supply chain for the MIP procurement. You can see more details in the Master Site Occupation Agreement (PDF 200kb) and the Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 103kb). Should you want to discuss the MIP further, please just get in touch using the email address below.

State Aid

As with many Government projects, the Mobile Infrastructure Project was required to seek clearance of the proposed approach and expenditure from the European Commission as a potential State Aid. On 5 December the European Commission announced that MIP was compatible with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

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