A national campaign for 'No More Not Spots' was recently launched with the aim of ending not spots for voice coverage where UK phone users live, work, travel and play.
What is the issue?
Access to mobile voice call services is a basic requirement of business today: it's essential to consumers and for linking people and communities. From the time that cell phone services were first introduced in the UK to the present day, the locations with signal coverage have grown from a handful of urban areas to around 98% of UK premises. The UK's four Mobile Network Operators EE, 02, Vodafone and Three, have invested heavily to deliver against their licence obligation of 90% geographic coverage for voice and text by the end of 2017.
Despite welcome progress, the actual experience of mobile phone users differs from the scale and consistency suggested by these numbers. With about 30 million residential and commercial properties in the UK, 98% of premises would still leave around 600,000 buildings without coverage; with only 10% of Britain's landmass 'developed' - 90% geographic coverage still leaves not spots in areas like dense commercial centres, road and rail corridors where access issues, the built environment, and the economics of new infrastructure can combine to weaken coverage and frustrate network rollout.
Results from a national British Chamber infrastructure survey, conducted in February this year showed that a majority (53%) of responding businesses perceived the reliability of the UK mobile phone network to have improved over the last five years. But a substantial number (21%) did not agree that the network meets its needs for accessing new and existing customers, suppliers, and employees.
What are we campaigning for?
The reasons for patchy coverage are many and varied: from building and vehicle design to the number and location of masts and cells; from the topography of the built and natural landscapes to the technologies in phones. Through this campaign, the national Chambers of Commerce will mobilise the business community to identify gaps in coverage and to work constructively with industry and government to resolve issues locally.
Action you can take
Mobile not spots hinder business' ability to connect with customers, suppliers and employees. Register your not spot on the British Chambers of Commerce website http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/ and share the campaign via Twitter #ShareYourNotSpots