Government ministers are talking to mobile network operators about the possibility of allowing ‘roaming’ between UK networks, according to news reports. It means that ‘black spot’ areas of poor coverage would be reduced.
The move is said to have been prompted by the situation for ‘international roaming’ in the EU, which can result in foreign visitors - who can connect to all national networks - enjoying better coverage than residents who can only use their chosen network operator. Although roaming calls are usually charged at a premium, EU ministers are currently working to eliminate these roaming charges for voice calls.
Sajid Javid MP, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, is reported to be leading the government’s discussions with network operators.
Mobile networks in the UK have offered ‘roaming’ for emergency calls since 2009, enabling customers to call 999 using a rival network if there’s no coverage from the network they’ve subscribed to.
[Sources: BBC.co.uk; telegraph.co.uk]