Ofcom has published its initial research into mobile not-spots. It's described these as a priority area and has identified five distinct types of problems in the UK:
• complete 'not-spots' with no coverage at all (mainly in rural areas),
• 3G not-spots with no mobile broadband coverage,
• partial (operator-specific) not-spots,
• interrupted coverage on the move, and
• problems with coverage inside buildings.
The regulator commissioned a number of case studies that appear to suggest commercial considerations are the main cause for coverage problems, not planning and technical issues, although planning issues were a significant factor in the lack of coverage on railways. Ofcom says it'll arrange discussions with stakeholders to see if railway coverage can be improved and will also look at improving coverage information for consumers, which could prompt network operators to compete more to improve coverage.
[Full Ofcom update (pdf)]