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Why MPs Want Us To Change How We Use Our Mobiles

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Photo: Behrouz Mehri/Getty.
We should be able to roam between mobile networks in areas of the country which have poor reception, according to a new report.

The report by British Infrastructure Group, which has been endorsed by over 90 MPs, says that visitors to the UK actually receive "better and broader mobile coverage" than full-time residents "because foreign SIM cards enable roaming across national networks."

The report also says the four main mobile network operators - Vodafone, O2, EE and Three - are "highly unlikely" to meet next year's target to achieve 90% coverage across the UK's geographic area. Allowing roaming could help to make up for this, the report argues.

It recommends a "compromise" between consumers and mobile operators, whereby operators "would share networks, enabling mobiles to roam, but only in areas severely affected" by reception problems.

Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, a mostly rural area in East Sussex, said in endorsing the report: "In my constituency you are almost more likely not to have mobile signal than you are to get it.

"The fact that you can be in London, one of the world’s busiest and most dynamic cities, within hours, but you can’t receive a call or a send a text is preposterous, and it’s high time we had a mobile network fit for the 21st century.”

The report also recommends that Ofcom establishes a "Minimum Service Obligation" for mobile network operators to guarantee greater protection for consumers.

"Unlike other regular household expenditures, such as utilities, mobile contracts remain extremely complex and ambiguous," the report argues, adding that "38% of mobile users surveyed by Ofcom in 2016 reported experiencing ‘major’ difficulties when switching provider."


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