EE, O2, Vodaphone and Three had opposed Government plans for a national roaming scheme that would have forced them to allow non-customers to use their networks when out of range for their own provider.
Under the passive sharing scheme operators would allow their rivals to add their own equipment to masts and boost the signal in areas of poor reception. The idea is now being considered by the companies as an alternative to national roaming.
Sarah Lee, head of policy for the Countryside Alliance said: “It is very important that people who live or work in the countryside are able to get a good service on their mobile phones, no matter which service provider they use. Mobile phones are an essential part of modern life. Sharing masts could be an important step on the path to this goal.
“We welcome the talks between the Government, Ofcom and the phone companies and hope they will lead to an improved service for rural areas.”
For more information, contact Countryside Alliance head of media Charlotte Cooper on 0207 8409220 and 07500 834163 or email [email protected]
Notes to journalists
This story appeared in today’s Daily Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/11117031/Mobile-operators-in-talks-for-rural-coverage-compromise.html