Ofcom is being urged to sort out the UK’s ‘deplorable’ mobile coverage. The head of the National Infrastructure Commision made the comments following an Ofcom report that found that phone calls and text messages can not be sent from 30 per cent of UK postcodes. It follows a report that one million homes have poor broadband and large parts of the UK have no 4G coverage.
In a letter to the telecoms regulator, Lord Adonis said that the service in the UK was ‘deplorable’ and suggested regulatory and legal changes must now be considered.
"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 in a letter to Ofcom."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," he said.
Lord Adonis has been vocal in his criticism of UK mobile and broadband services in the past. In October he launched a public consultation, singling out mobile services as an area that needed ‘urgent action’.
The government minister overseeing the sector agreed that industry must do more to improve the current service.
Matt Hancock, minister for digital, said: "We’ve recently removed outdated restrictions, giving mobile operators more freedom to improve their networks including hard-to-reach rural areas," he said.
"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."