Pledge to improve mobile phone coverage welcomed

A14 Road: Kelmarsh: rolling countryside dissected by the A14 near Kelmarsh'fields'Friday 19th July 2013

A14 Road: Kelmarsh: rolling countryside dissected by the A14 near Kelmarsh'fields'Friday 19th July 2013

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A plan to improve mobile phone coverage in rural areas across Sussex has been welcomed by the Countryside Alliance.

The organisation has welcomed OFCOM’s five-point plan which also reveals that three of the four mobile phone service providers have now hit their target to cover 90 per cent of the UK population.

However the organisation says it is disappointed that Vodaphone still has to increase its reach by 1.4 per cent and hopes it will achieve this by the end of the year.

“Mobile phone reception is vital for rural homes and businesses, but the reception you get on the ground can vary distinctly from that predicted by your provider. That’s why we launched our Sick of No Signal campaign earlier this year to try to map the reality of no-spots in the countryside,” said Countryside Alliance head of policy, Sarah Lee.

As part of the campaign, people across the UK have been taking signal samples with their smartphones using RootMetric’s free CoverageMap app.

Data compiled from the app and professional testing will be used to create a true map of coverage which will be used to lobby the government and mobile phone companies to improve reception, and can be used by the public to gauge which provider offers the best service where they live.

The OFCOM plan includes an undertaking to extend coverage to the 10 per cent of the UK population who live in hard-to-reach areas. Last month OFCOM reported that just 35 per cent of the UK’s A and B roads are served by all four 3G networks and 9 per cent have no 3G coverage at all.