The Countryside Alliance welcomes OFCOM’s five-point plan to improve mobile phone coverage, announced yesterday (8 November) and its news that three of the four mobile phone service providers have now hit their target to cover 90% of the UK population.
However we are disappointed that Vodaphone still has to increase its reach by 1.4% and we hope it will achieve this by the end of the year.
“Mobile phone reception is vital for rural homes and businesses, but the reception you get on the ground can vary distinctly from that predicted by your provider. That’s why we launched our Sick of No Signal campaign earlier this year to try to map the reality of no-spots in the countryside,” said Countryside Alliance head of policy, Sarah Lee.
As part of the campaign, people across the UK have been taking signal samples with their smartphones using RootMetric’s free CoverageMap app.
Data compiled from the app and professional testing will be used to create a true map of coverage which will be used to lobby the government and mobile phone companies to improve reception, and can be used by the public to gauge which provider offers the best service where they live.
The OFCOM five-point plan includes an undertaking to extend coverage to the 10% of the UK population who live in hard-to-reach areas, through the Government’s £150m mobile infrastructure project and to improve coverage on roads and railways.
“We are pleased that OFCOM recognises the significant problems experienced by those who have to travel in rural areas as part of their work,” added Miss Lee.
Last month OFCOM reported that just 35% of the UK’s A and B roads are served by all four 3G networks and 9% have no 3G coverage at all.