9/3/2008 11:24:00 AM
Ofcom hits out at operators over poor coverage
Ofcom has criticised operators for providing poor coverage and having too many dissatisfied customers, as it began its first review of the mobile industry.
The regulator says it will look at ways to improve 2G and 3G coverage to reduce the amount of so-called coverage ‘not-spots’ in the UK. Ofcom has revealed the extent of the problem with a coverage chart (pictured). Ed Richards, Ofcom CEO, said: ‘We have longstanding concerns about the lack of coverage in parts of the country. The number of 3G not-spots is still too high.’
The regulator also reiterated its previous concerns at the level of customer dissatisfaction, claiming that it is still receiving more complaints than ever before. Ofcom said the mobile industry is the second most-complained-about sector. According to the regulator, 1.4 million customers are dissatisfied, which is around 6% of the UK population.
Richards said: ‘We are making it our priority to understand why so many people are still unhappy.’
Ofcom’s ‘mobile citizens, mobile consumers’ review is the first time the regulator has carried out a full assessment based solely on the mobile industry. Previously it has reviewed the telecoms industry as a whole.
Key stats from ofcom’s report
In two years, mobile calls will out-number landline calls
72 billion minutes of contract calls were made in 2007, up 11 billion on 2006
59 million texts have been sent so far in 2008, up 15 million on 2006
There were 133 million connections in June 2008, around double of February 2008 (69 million)
1.4 million customers registered dissatisfaction with their operator