Urgent plan required for ‘deplorable’ mobile services

The National Infrastructure Commission has written to Ofcom after finding that large portions of the country may not be getting the most basic mobile network services.

Lord Adonis, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, has urged immediate action between the regulator and the government and for all options to be put on the table in order to tackle the ‘deplorable’ situation. This includes possible legal and regulatory changes between now and the next mobile spectrum being auctioned.

The new data shows that total 4G coverage is available across just 43 per cent of the UK’s landmass and that 30 per cent of the UK’s geography does not receive a signal from all four operators when it comes to calls and text messaging.

Lord Adonis said: “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.

“This new measure for coverage comes almost a year to the day after we first warned about the poor mobile signal communities can face, but now suggests the situation is even worse than we thought. 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.

“That’s why I want Ofcom as the industry’s regulator to urgently take concerted action with government to tackle this situation. They should put all possible options on the table – including legal and regulatory changes – to ensure customers can be confident they are will get the service they deserve and pay for.”

Lord Adonis, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, has urged immediate action between the regulator and the government and for all options to be put on the table in order to tackle the ‘deplorable’ situation. This includes possible legal and regulatory changes between now and the next mobile spectrum being auctioned.

The new data shows that total 4G coverage is available across just 43 per cent of the UK’s landmass and that 30 per cent of the UK’s geography does not receive a signal from all four operators when it comes to calls and text messaging.

Lord Adonis said: “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.

“This new measure for coverage comes almost a year to the day after we first warned about the poor mobile signal communities can face, but now suggests the situation is even worse than we thought. 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.

“That’s why I want Ofcom as the industry’s regulator to urgently take concerted action with government to tackle this situation. They should put all possible options on the table – including legal and regulatory changes – to ensure customers can be confident they are will get the service they deserve and pay for.”

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