The UK Mobile Operators Association (MOA) has hit out at plans for a national roaming service. The mobile body said the Government's plans for solving the problem of mobile ‘not spots’ are unfeasible. MOA represents the UK mobile network operators EE, Three, Vodafone and O2.
The Government is looking at ways to allow all UK residents access to a mobile signal. It had admitted that the £150m Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP) will not be enough to make this happen.
The Government is in talks with the various operators regarding allowing rival firms' customers access to networks where there is no signal from the customer’s operator. However, the MOA said the plans were unworkable.
It believes that while it will take years to implement the ideas, the issue of ‘not spots’ will still not be addressed. It pointed out that customers would face even more dropped calls with national roaming.
The MOA believes the Government needs to work on making it economically worthwhile for operators to build infrastructure to help improve rural coverage.
The group said UK mobile phone customers are some of the best-off in Europe with mobile coverage reaching 99% of the population. Mobile consumers also avail of the cheapest pricing environments in the EU, said the organisation.
Operators are investing £3bn in improving UK mobile networks this year.