We all recognise the frustration of losing a mobile phone signal and helplessly wafting our mobile phone through the air in the hope that it makes a difference. It sometimes appears that signals are getting weaker instead of better and with all the technology available, the mobile networks are failing to provide one of the fundamentals: a decent signal.
Mobile phone usage has become so common in our society that it now falls under the remit of the Secreatry of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who is presented with an Ofcom review every three years regarding network coverage.
Ofcom claims 97% of premises have a strong enough signal the four 2G network operators for to make a call. 3G scores 73%. Geographic coverage differs greatly as anybody who lives by the sea or in the country will tell you. The scores here are 66% 2G and a mere 13% for 3G.
Owning a mobile phone in the western world now seems like something of a human right. It seems wrong that a user in the countryside shouldn’t reap the same benefits as a city dweller if they pay the same rates. Ofcom claims the discrepancies are narrowing due to the operators investing in network coverage. In some areas all mobile phones signal is so poor it will actually influence your choice of provider. Many areas of Scotland suffer the worst, particularly mountainous or hilly areas.
The government, working alongside Ofcom have controversially allocated £150 million to help tackle the problem of network coverage. Ofcom claims that helping to tackle poor network coverage is one of their priorities for 2011/12, illustrating how much of a problem is at hand.
It seems bizarre that we can have a mobile phone on which we can shop, watch films, listen to music and surf the net, but not be able to make a call. It also appears somewhat unjust that one area suffers more than the next.