The four largest mobile networks in the UK have signed a legally-binding agreement pledging £5 billion to help tackle coverage issues in rural Britain.
The Guardian reports that the deal with EE, O2, Three and Vodafone will ensure 90% of UK landmass has basic coverage by 2017.
However, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has done away with plans to force mobile phone companies to allow customers to roam between networks after Home Secretary Theresa May expressed concerns it "could have a detrimental impact on law enforcement".
The voluntary deal also sees the four companies agree to improve signal strength for phone calls on 2G, 3G and 4G, which is said to be prompted by criticism from consumers that signals are often too weak.
Javid said he was pleased to be able to announce the "landmark" agreement with operators, which he says will give the UK the "world-class mobile phone coverage it needs and deserves".
"Too many parts of the UK regularly suffer from poor mobile coverage leaving them unable to make calls or send texts," he stressed
Vodafone called the deal "a great result for UK consumers and businesses", adding that it will make the UK a leader across Europe in terms of the reach of mobile coverage.
"We support the government's objective of delivering better coverage to rural areas including partial not-spots," a spokesman for the company said.
"This is why Vodafone is already spending £1 billion on our network and services in the UK this year alone and will continue to spend a similar amount next year as well."