The government has put forth various proposals to improve mobile coverage in the UK.
A fifth of the UK is subject to partial “notspots,” where mobile coverage is patchy, with coverage existing for some, but not all networks, leaving users unable to place calls or send texts. The government plans to require mobile operators to improve their coverage.
“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,” culture secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC.
One solution put forth by the UK government is to see customers transferred to rival networks when they lose signal, but some experts remain unconvinced.
The current proposals are only aimed at 2G services and include national roaming, which would allowing phones to use another network when theirs is unavailable; infrastructure sharing, where mobile networks would share masts, installing their own transmitters; reforming virtual networks, where agreements such as those between companies like Tesco and Virgin presently have with single operators would be extended to all networks; and coverage obligation, in which networks would be required to cover a certain percentage of the UK
“The detail of this policy needs careful consideration,” said shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman to the BBC. “Rather than briefing against each other as part of the ongoing Tory leadership squabble to replace David Cameron, cabinet ministers should be making clear what the impact will be on 4G services for consumers and the emergency services, as well as any possible implications for national security and the fight against serious crime.”
The public consultation for these proposals closes on November 26, 2014.