Author Lauren Howells

Lord Adonis, the chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), has reportedly written to telecoms regulator Ofcom, urging it to improve the UK’s poor mobile phone coverage.

Ofcom report revealed only 70% of the UK had telephone call coverage from all four mobile phone networks

This comes after a report by Ofcom revealed that only 70% of the UK had telephone call coverage from all four mobile phone networks.

The Guardian reported that in his letter, Lord Adonis reportedly said: “In an age when access to a mobile phone 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 the new mobile spectrum being auctioned and 5G technology being rolled out.”

According to the Guardian, Lord Adonis reportedly told Ofcom that it 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.”

Ofcom admits “too many people in the UK still struggle to get a sufficiently strong signal”

In a press release regarding its report on UK broadband and mobile coverage, Ofcom admitted that “too many people in the UK still struggle to get a sufficiently strong signal – particularly in rural areas and on roads and railways” and that ‘total’ geographic 4G coverage, where reception is available from all four mobile operators, is only available across 43% of the UK.

Only 6 in 10 premises can receive indoor 4G mobile phone signal from all four networks

Mobile phone

Ofcom’s data also revealed that just under 6 in 10 premises can receive an indoor 4G mobile signal from all four networks.

Ofcom called for “further investment” from mobile providers to improve coverage. It said that it was also taking “direct action”, including extending the use of signal boosters and enforcing mobile operators’ existing obligations to provide calls and text coverage to 90% of the UK landmass by the end of this month.

Around one million homes and offices still cannot get a decent broadband connection

Ofcom also said it was “concerned” that around 1.1 million homes and offices (4% of properties) could not get the broadband speeds “needed to meet their typical needs”.

Chief Technology Officer at Ofcom, Steve Unger, said that while broadband coverage was improving, there was still “urgent work required” before people and businesses got the services they needed.

He added: “People have never relied so much on their phones in daily life. As a nation, we are using 13 times more mobile data than just five years ago.

“While the industry works to improve mobile coverage, it’s vital people can get a trustworthy picture of reception across the UK. Using our tools, mobile users can see which network offers the best service in areas where they live, work and travel, before they take out a new phone contract.”