Sunday 30 October 2016

Tourists get better mobile phone signal in Britain than locals


In Britain mobile phone coverage is so bad that foreign visitors often get better signal than Britons, a new report has found.

A report by MPs found that mobile phone coverage in the UK is the same today as it was in 2014, despite billions of pounds being invested in improving the communications infrastructure.

In 2014 the government agreed a £5 billion investment deal with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) which aimed to bring mobile coverage to 90 per cent of the UK by December 2017.

That target is not expected to be met, with at least 525 so-called “not-spot” areas across the country, according to the British Infrastructure Group (BIG) of backbench MPs.

Group chairman Grant Shapps said: "It is unacceptable that areas in Britain continue to have such poor mobile connectivity, and that overseas visitors can expect better mobile coverage than Britons stuck with a single provider.

"The time for excuses from the mobile sector is over. The government must make a better call for Britain and bring national mobile coverage policy into the 21st century."

The BIG report calls on the government to request an interim update from mobile operators towards achieving their December 2017 coverage goals.

It also identifies plans to protect mobile phone customers.

The report states: "Consumers are at risk from being hit with large exit fees if they decide to terminate their contract, even if it is due to poor quality mobile service.

"BIG argues that Ofcom should establish a Minimum Service Obligation to define consumer rights. If an MNO fails to deliver a high standard of service, consumers should be able to terminate their contract free of charge.

"These reforms should now be included in the Digital Economy Bill."



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