Lord Adonis, the head of the National Infrastructure Commission has called for action over terrible levels of mobile phone coverage. Lord Adonis wrote to the telecommunications watchdog Ofcom to handle the growing problem.
His words have come after Ofcom released information regarding the current 4G coverage that we have in the country. The statistics made for bad reading, with 4G available in only 43% of the country and 30% of the country still not reached by all four operators. He said in his letter “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.
“The situation is even worse than we thought. It demonstrates the need for urgent and radical action to tackle this issue immediately, ahead of new mobile spectrum being auctioned and 5G technology being rolled out.”
This is not the first time the former Labour transportation secretary has hit out at the poor level of broadband and mobile services across the UK. In October he put forward ideas for a public consultation to gauge the state of UK telecoms infrastructure, he signalled out mobile services as falling the furthest behind. He has said that Ofcom must act. “They should put all possible options on the table – including legal and regulatory changes – to ensure customers can be confident they are will get the service they deserve and pay for,” he said.
The current government minister who oversees this sector has agreed with the comments lord Adonis made, conceding that more must be done in order to keep up. The minister for digital spoke of a need for rapid change to improve mobile services “We’ve recently removed outdated restrictions, giving mobile operators more freedom to improve their networks including hard-to-reach rural areas.”
“But industry needs to play its part too through continued investment and improvement in their networks, making sure that customers are not paying for services they don’t receive,” he said.
Steve Unger, who is Ofcom’s chief technology officer also agreed that more was needed. He said “We’re playing our part by enforcing rules for better coverage and preparing to set new rules in operators’ licenses. We’re also boosting the capacity of mobile networks by releasing new airwaves, and helping to improve coverage on trains.”