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A number of leading broadband providers are joining forces to improve mobile coverage in Northern Ireland, it has been reported.

T-Mobile, Orange and Three are providing funding for a joint initiative which will see the country's 3G coverage increase from 54 per cent to 94 per cent by the end of the year.

Northern Ireland's Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said this is "excellent news" for people living and working in the Six Counties.

She said that, for a number of years, her department has been advocating the importance of state-of-the-art telecommunications networks to the development of the economy.

"News of an investment of this size in the growing mobile sector comes at an important time," Ms Foster stated.

" My department has consulted extensively on telecoms investment priorities for 2011-2015 and has received endorsement for proposals to examine ways to deliver improvements in high-speed mobile delivery."

She explained that the Northern Ireland government is in detailed discussions with Westminster to source "sizeable funding" to deliver a 4G platform.

This will allow the country to benefit from the next evolution of mobile services, the Minister said. 

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