Mobile coverage issues blight majority of users

Network coverage

The Communications Consumer Panel is calling for a "try before you buy" solution from mobile providers, letting users test coverage before signing up to a network.

A new report from the Ofcom advisory panel showed 91 per cent of small business users had difficulty with mobile network coverage, with 51 per cent of consumers experiencing the same issues. A third of all research participants admitted this was a regular occurrence for them.

As a result, the panel is not just calling on mobile providers for the trial scheme, but also asking regulator Ofcom to work with operators to improve coverage and the information available to users about their networks.

Chair of the Communications Consumer Panel, Anna Bradley, said in a statement: "While all the focus is on rolling out new services like mobile broadband, our research reveals that large numbers of consumers and small businesses are still having problems making even basic voice calls."

She added: "This kind of basic coverage is hugely important to consumers and essential for small businesses to thrive."

The report also found that of the high percentage of businesses affected, 57 per cent took action against their network provider and the most common response was to stop using the phone altogether a problem for both provider and company alike.

"The importance of mobile phones will continue to grow, and it will be increasingly vital for consumers and small businesses to have the coverage they expect and need," concluded Bradley.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.