Mobile networks should allow roaming within UK, say MPs

A group of MPs says that mobile networks ought to allow UK customers to ‘roam’ across networks when they’re in the UK, in order to combat mobile ‘not-spots’.

Visitors to the country get better coverage with foreign SIM cards, the British Infrastructure Group says, because they aren't tied to a single network and can roam between different ones by default.

If those of us on UK-based SIMs could do the same, it could go a long way to improving our mobile coverage.

Around 90 backbench MPs have banded together to demand change, calling on ministers to make changes to the law that would allow domestic roaming.

"It is unacceptable that areas in Britain continue to have such poor mobile connectivity," group chairman Grant Shapps MP said. "The time for excuses from the mobile sector is over. The government must make a better call for Britain and bring national mobile coverage policy into the 21st Century."

Shapps said that while campaigning, he used a foreign SIM, so that wherever he was he could connect to the network with the best signal.

However, Hamish MacLeod, spokesperson for trade association Mobile UK, said that such a system ultimately wouldn't encourage the right kind of investments for mobile networks.

He said: "This was looked at by the government a couple of years ago and it was decided that the cost of doing it would not be justified, it's technically difficult to do in a localised way, and that it wouldn't always offer the best customer experience. But the most important thing was that it would not have the right incentives in place for network investments to be made."

Mobile networks are currently working to provide coverage to 90% of the UK landmass.

Source: BBC

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