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UK mobile operators reject government plans on national roaming

Mobile operators in the UK have rejected government proposals on setting up national roaming, according to the Financial Times. Earlier this year, operators were urged by officials to look into the possibility of sharing infrastructure in rural parts of the country, as well as locations where consumers seemingly loose signal coverage. While this would help prevent customers experiencing drop outs in connectivity, mobile operators didn't believe the plans to be viable.

It's reported that Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey fired out letters to each operator in attempt to reach an agreement over national roaming, but carriers noted they would receive little in return and wouldn't be able to collaborate on a solution by the start of 2015. They also state that there wouldn't be the incentive to invest in their own networks to compete against one another. The UK government is able to put more pressure on local operators and push through such plans, but for the time being officials are awaiting for said companies to work on plans of their own.

How would you like to see the UK mobile operators working together to provide better nationwide coverage? Sound off your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

Source: FT, via: Engadget

16 Comments
  • At the minute from my point view EE are the one stand out operater the rest are way behind I went to east coast last month and had to get a 02 a ee and my vodafone sim all cos the reception is crap coming out of city's. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lose not loose check your grammar Posted via Android Central App
  • Networks, Government, just get the job done and get it done soon, this is not a new problem and should already have been fixed long ago. Posted via Android Central App
  • I agree with the networks. What is the incentive to improve their network if they are forced by the government to share it with their competition? Posted via Android Central App
  • For once I agree with the carriers. It would be like asking my customers to use a another company closer to them where I have no control over the quality of the service being provided. Also why would carriers who have invested heavily in rural areas share their network? Surely they would want to read the rewards of that investment. Posted via Android Central App
  • They would get a roaming fee for each user. Same as the way cash points (ATMs) work. One bank puts them in and then gets a fee for every user from a different bank. The network can then make money off other customers if they have made the effort to invest in the network. The one with the biggest network could then potentially make more profit or reduce costs. At the moment rural areas aren't served by all/any networks due to the limited customer base. Posted via Android Central App
  • Which is all very well if carriers weren't saying that they do have coverage in these areas, when they don't. They are charging us for cover they aren't providing. Posted via Android Central App
  • Comical, this coming from the government!
    The government was the one that privatized and sold the masts, sold the 4G bandwidth to privates and allowed BT to corner the market and monopolize the supposed to be free WI-FI infrastructure now for profit.
  • er,wifi was meant to be free ? that's news to me.
    and exactly what corner of which market do bt monopolise,who's network do the mobiles use for their back haul then,oh bt's,but do they pay proper price to do so,no because uk govs force bt to charge less than cost price.
    if bt did actualy have a monopoly in the uk,we would have better coverage and much faster networks,cos then they would not be ablento blame someone else,we would all know excactly who is causing and why problems. not fixed...multiple networks just allows them to operate private cartel in which they all blame/hide behindneach other,not possible with a monopoly,if bt shut down its systems at midnight one night,every mobile network would fall over to fail in about 120 seconds later...
  • You need to learn about the subject, before you comment on it!
  • I do think reception in some remoter parts of the UK needs improved and the Government should be encouraging the networks to do this. I don't know what complications there are but could mobile networks not share towers and just have different cell equipment on them? This would mean splitting the costs between multiple users and less cell towers blighting the landscape. Maybe the government could even build the mast in certain areas and rent space on them to multiple operators.
  • to oc and dc,none what so ever,but the networks all co-operate fine when it serves their purposes,they have all cut back on numbers of cell towers etc,more shareing of kit and sites,to save money but make coverage and capacity worse,mostly so that they can offer [mostly]pricier 4g tariffs at the exspense of 3g throughput.
    why should they not be forced to co-operate,most are foreign owned and ship huge profits out of the uk every year,but our own home grown network leader,bt,is forced by gov to allow others to use its hardware that it paid for at below cost price,if we can do it to our own,why not a bunch of money grubbing foreigners,they are meant to be target driven,targets set by uk gov,none of them have ever actually hit their targets in the real world,about time we got heavy with them and forced them to provide decent service,almost every where,other countries seem to be able to get round problems,why not the ones in the uk ?
    networks lie through their teeth on a daily basis,but all the time uk gov allows them to operate sub standard networks and still ship cash out of uk,they are not going to change,things will get worse,not better and areas like the one I live in,central watfird will stay a not spot,trying to get by on the equivalent of very old dsl,28/56 kbs in 2014 is laughable,but will networks co-operate so that even one network is usable properly,no,of course not,that would mean taking cash from profits to share holders and we cannot have that,no matter what.
    we only need one small sub cell in this area to turn us from not spot to good or briliant service,but nothing been done in 16 years,why not,cos it would mean spending a few grand and working together for a small area that would take a while to pay back investment...
    we are just cash cows for the networks,most folk cannot operate/work properly without a mobile phonenthese days,just like water and electricity,and we are being stiched up and bled dry by overseas firms that know that they can make cash running bad but pricey systems..
    but we would need a uk gov with some balls and brains,two things sadly lacking in all recent parliaments etc,to force changes through,so yhe things will get worse,not better...
  • 15 Years of cellular phones and there are still huge amounts of black-spots in the UK. Obviously competition alone is not going to fix this problem or it would have done so by now. In my opinion there should be one set of national infrastructure as is the case with electricity transmission, it would also solve the problem of having three or four ugly masts doing exactly the same thing in the same area.
  • Oh my.... You dumb +$+#&@ are begging for more government.
  • Roaming seems to imply that it would cost the consumer... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Mobile coverage in the UK verges on the criminal. Operators state 90%+ coverage to most of England, and yet I need only step outside the town centre where I live to see my data vanish. How they can get away with it, I do not know; it's disgusting. I have to pay though i am probably able to use my data no more than 50% of time.
    The government should tell them that if they don't comply then they will have to start reimbursing users when there is no coverage.