Culture Secretary Sajid Javid today (5 November) said mobile users in many parts of the UK regularly suffer from a poor signal leaving them unable to make calls or send texts.
These areas – so called ‘partial not-spots’ – have coverage from some but not all four mobile networks (EE, O2, Three and Vodafone). Depending on the network which consumers are on, they may have no coverage.
Within Wales, there are a large number of not-spots which only have coverage on one or two of the networks. These include Ceredigion, Conwy, Powys, Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire.
The Culture Secretary is determined to improve coverage from all four networks in these areas and has therefore launched a consultation on the various legislative proposals that can help achieve this.
This will give Government the chance to hear views on these proposals from all interested parties.
Talks have been held with the mobile companies in recent months in an attempt to find a voluntary solution and this work by the industry is expected to continue whilst the consultation runs.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said:
I’m determined to ensure the UK has world-class mobile phone coverage as investment in infrastructure will help drive this Government’s long-term economic plan.
It can’t be right that in a fifth of the UK, people cannot use their phones to make a call. The Government isn’t prepared to let that situation continue.
We’ve been talking to the mobile companies about the problem and they are working with us to find a solution.
This consultation will complement the work industry is doing and allow the Government to hear from the wider telecoms sector, businesses and the public.
Businesses have been clear about the importance of mobile phones and improved coverage will help deliver jobs and economic security.
Wales Office Minister Alun Cairns said:
It is crucial that Wales and the rest of the UK have world-class mobile phone coverage and I would strongly encourage businesses to contribute to this important consultation.
Improved mobile coverage is essential for businesses in Wales and a key part of our long term economic plan to make Wales an even more attractive place to invest and create jobs.