Poor mobile phone reception is no laughing matter. For most living in cities, having to walk around the room for a signal may seem like an issue that was resolved in the past, nevertheless it’s not the case for everyone in Great Britain.
In fact, around one in five of us struggle with mobile phone reception and cannot use our mobile phones to make a call without having to take time to find a signal according to Culture Secretary Sajid Javid.
In a world where 4G is becoming the norm and a 3G signal is at the very least the expected, it might be hard for some of us to understand that around 20% of people, while in their UK homes, can’t make a call or send a text from their phone without a lot of effort.
Of course, having bad reception or coverage is one thing, but not being able to do anything about it is an altogether different matter.
One thing that tends to become apparent and is well documented in national newspapers is the sheer wrangling it takes to get out of a mobile phone contract, even if coverage is poor. If you own and use a mobile phone under a particular provider, you expect to have use of the phone. At the most basic level of commerce, you pay for a service and the service provider should adequately deliver that service, meeting a minimum standard.
Looking at a number of papers would suggest that what’s happening is otherwise. The Daily Telegraph recently published a piece filled with horror stories about customers with no reception, companies with little interest in offering redress and in some cases bad and insulting customer service. The paper article cast a terrible light on the mobile phone providers, showcasing them as uncaring, incompetent and even in some cases showing contempt for their customers.
Problems need solutions and one such effort at resolving issues was proposed by Culture Secretary Sajid Javid. Initially, Javid proposed that mobile phone providers would be required to allow phones under contract with them use other networks if theirs didn’t provide an adequate signal. He also put forward plans for mobile phone network providers being required to:
- Share infrastructure – companies could place transmitters on each other’s masts
- Reform virtual networks
- Be obliged to cover a certain area of the UK – the way they would do this would be up to them.
However, there were a number of issues with the idea and experts, as well as members of the government cite security concerns and battery life amongst others as reasons why this approach may not work and it was altered.
This resulted in the idea to share networks being scrapped; however there still are some positives. These will result in 90% of the UK landmass having text and voice coverage by 2017; this will increase full coverage, which takes account of being able to download data, from 69% to 85%. It’s certainly a move in the right direction, however for the 10% and 15% who live in areas without basic and full coverage respectively, it could still hardly be considered getting your money’s worth.
Here at Row.co.uk, we cannot wait for network reception to improve. In the mean time, be sure to look after your mobile phone with our insurance, click here for a quote.