As part of a long term plan the help boost the UK economy, the government has announced that a consultation to tackle ‘partial not-spots’, i.e. areas of poor mobile coverage where users are unable to make calls or send texts, is underway.
One of the solutions being considered is national roaming, the idea that mobile users can switch to another network’s signal if coverage is particularly poor, another is allowing networks to install transmitters on masts belonging to their competitors.
Other proposals include ensuring that each member of the big four, O2, EE, Three, and Vodafone, all have an obligation to cover a percentage of the country, as well as looking into virtual networks (like Tesco Mobile and GiffGaff) which already piggyback on the signal of other networks and see if they can offer access to all four networks.
Culture secretary Sajid Javid said:
“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 and this consultation will complement the work industry is doing and allow the government to hear from the wider telecoms sector, businesses and the public.”
The consultation is set to run until the 26th of November.