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In October 2011, the government announced £150m in capital expenditure to improve mobile coverage and quality – known as the Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP).This project is being run by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).
The objectives of MIP are: * to improve the coverage and quality of mobile network services for the five to ten per cent of consumers and businesses that live and work in areas of the UK where existing mobile network coverage is poor or non-existent; and * to extend coverage to 99 per cent of the UK population.
The government expects that the procurement will begin by spring 2012, and to complete the project by 2015. The procurement is dependent upon achieving consensus from the existing mobile spectrum licence holders and gaining State Aid clearance from the European Commission.
This document is aimed at potential bidders for the MIP procurement, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), network infrastructure providers and operators, network equipment vendors, mobile network planners and backhaul providers. Specifically we are also seeking executives responsible for network investment decisions, particularly those accountable for planning rural coverage to respond to this request. Respondents are requested to only reply to those questions which they feel are relevant to them.
A separate engagement process will commence soon where Local Authorities and Devolved Administrations will be invited to provide their views on a number of important topics, including:
* How their local development priorities can be used to inform how not-spots are prioritised;
* What challenges need to be addressed in the acquisition of suitable sites on public land, what planning challenges exist and how best to address them sympathetically; and * The ways in which communities and others can contribute towards the development and operation of mast sites (e.g. donations of land) to extend coverage in their localities.