PLANS have been forged for a new partnership to improve mobile phone coverage in Hampshire.

Enterprise M3 LEP and Mobile UK, the trade body for the UK’s mobile network operators (MNOs), have announced a new partnership to boost mobile phone coverage across the M3 corridor.

The agreement will see Enterprise M3 and Mobile UK working together to keep the region at the forefront of digital innovation, and ensure that local businesses and consumers are able to benefit from a strong economy.

The partnership will also seek to collaborate with key stakeholders in industry and politics in order to promote practical steps towards improving the deployment of crucial mobile infrastructure. Outcomes from the partnership will help to inform revisions to Enterprise M3’s strategic economic plan.

The innovative new partnership was announced at a high-level roundtable event at the 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey, jointly hosted by Enterprise M3 and Mobile UK, which saw a Memorandum of Understanding signed in front of the UK’s mobile network operators and senior political and business leaders from the Enterprise M3 LEP area.

The agreement is the latest stage in Mobile UK’s Building Mobile Britain campaign, which aims to promote the deployment of mobile infrastructure and boost mobile connectivity across the UK. Through the campaign, Mobile UK has engaged with national and local decision-makers and industry groups to raise awareness of the challenges mobile network operators face in extending mobile coverage, and the practical steps that can be taken to overcome these.

Hamish MacLeod, director at Mobile UK, said: “This partnership with Enterprise M3 LEP is an important step in our Building Mobile Britain campaign. Mobile connectivity is no longer a luxury but a vital necessity in today's connected world.

“We are excited to be working with Enterprise M3 LEP in signing our joint Memorandum of Understanding to work together to uncover and break down the barriers to effective mobile deployment.”

Mike Short, chairman of enterprise M3 LEP, said: “Our new partnership with Mobile UK is an important element of our plans to ensure that the M3 corridor remains at the forefront of digital innovation in the UK. This exciting partnership will allow us to maximise the benefits to the economic growth of our area that mobile connectivity provides.”