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‘Deplorable’: The damning verdict on shabby UK mobile coverage

The poor state of mobile coverage in the UK has forced the head of the National Infrastructure Commission to urge regulator Ofcom to take action to tackle it.

Lord Adonis wrote to Ofcom asking for “urgent and radical action” to address the “deplorable” disprate nature of mobile phone coverage in Britain.

He letter is in reaction to the Connected Nations 2017 report Ofcom published last week which found that calls and texts couldn’t be made or send from the four largest mobile network providers in 30% of the UK’s entire landmass.

“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,” he said.

Mobile network operators are expected to provide coverage for 90% of the UK, but the Connected Nations report shows they’re falling short and leaving some people out in the cold when it comes to getting acceptable mobile coverage.

Lord Adonis wants every avenue of action to be considered to boost coverage including legal and regulatory changes to ensure that mobile network providers give customers the quality of service they’re paying for.

In response, Steve Unger, Ofcom’s chief technology officer, said the regulator agrees with Lord Adonis and will take action to scrub out the disparity in mobile coverage.

“We’re playing our part by enforcing rules for better coverage, and preparing to set new rules in operators’ licences,” he said.

“We’re also boosting the capacity of mobile networks by releasing new airwaves, and helping to improve coverage on trains.”

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