The UK government has launched a three-week consultation on the options available to eliminate some areas of poor mobile coverage. It’s focussed on areas of the country where some mobile networks offer coverage whilst others don’t.
There are four main options in the consultation document:
- National roaming: allowing mobile phones to ‘roam’ onto another network’s signal when theirs was not available;
- Infrastructure sharing: insisting that mobile networks could put transmitters on each other’s masts;
- Reforming virtual networks: ensuring that MVNOs could offer mobile service that accessed all four UK networks;
- Doing nothing: allowing the current situation to continue.
Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said “I’m determined to ensure the UK has world-class mobile phone coverage as investment in infrastructure will help drive this government’s long-term economic plan. It can’t be right that in a fifth of the UK, people cannot use their phones to make a call. The government isn’t prepared to let that situation continue. We’ve been talking to the mobile companies about the problem and they are working with us to find a solution. This consultation will complement the work industry is doing and allow the government to hear from the wider telecoms sector, businesses and the public. Businesses have been clear about the importance of mobile phones and improved coverage will help deliver jobs and economic security.”
[Government consultation: Tackling Partial Not-Spots in Mobile Phone Coverage]