Vodafone has become the latest network to criticise the Government’s proposed ‘poor mobile coverage’ legislative changes.
In an emphatic statement the operator said that it had: ‘told the Government directly on a number of occasions, national roaming will not provide the people of the UK with better quality voice and mobile internet coverage. In fact, it would make coverage and quality significantly worse from the customer's perspective’
The network attacked the policy from a legal and regulatory perspective pointing out that UK mobile operators have paid the Government hundreds of millions of pounds for spectrum licences on the basis of existing regulation founded on the principle of competing networks.
Another criticism from the network was that ‘national roaming’ would also harm the business case for further investment in rural coverage. The operator asked ‘why any operator invest in providing better coverage for the benefit of a competitor?’
Vodafone revealed that they along with the other UK mobile operators had already submitted a number of alternative proposals for a strategic partnership between industry and Government which would deliver better outcomes more effectively. These proposals included further site sharing by operators.
The operator also highlighted other obstacles that have hindered the improvement of mobile coverage up to now namely planning regulation which it described as one of the ‘biggest barriers to improved rural coverage, accounting for lengthy delays when operators seek to install or upgrade mobile infrastructure.’