The head of the National Infrastructure Commission, Lord Adonis, has called for urgent action to tackle poor mobile phone coverage.
Lord Adonis has written to Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, urging it to take action to deal with the problem. It follows a report that one million homes have poor broadband and large parts of the UK have no 4G coverage.
Last week, Ofcom said calls and messages could not be sent on all four mobile networks in 30% of the entire UK landmass.
This isn’t the first time that Lord Adonis has criticised the state of the UK’s mobile and broadband service. Back in October, he launched a public consultation on the quality of the state of UK infrastructure, singling out mobile services as an area needing urgent attention.
Lord Adonis now says that Ofcom and the government need to “put all options on the table” to tackle the current black spots in the UK. He went on to say that these should include possible legal and regulatory changes.
“In an age when access to a mobile signal is regarded as a must-have, it is deplorable that even in areas previously considered to have strong coverage, operators are still delivering such poor services that customers can struggle to make a quick phone call,” he said.
He continued: “It demonstrates the need for urgent and radical action to tackle this issue immediately, ahead of new mobile spectrum being auctioned and 5G technology being rolled out,”
Lord Adonis said significantly higher signal strength were required to improve customer service and mobile phone companies should share masts where appropriate.
The government minister overseeing the sector agreed that the industry must do more.
Minister for digital, Matt Hancock said there was a clear need for rapid improvements to mobile coverage.
“We’ve recently removed outdated restrictions, giving mobile operators more freedom to improve their networks including hard-to-reach rural areas,” he said.
“But the industry needs to play its part too through continued investment and improvement in their networks, making sure that customers are not paying for services they don’t receive.”
Ofcom released a statement saying they agreed that mobile coverage should urgently improve and that they were setting new rules for operators’ licenses.
360group – Phone Systems in Cambridgeshire
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