Ofcom told to use 4G auctions to complete UK coverage
Bring voice if not data to the unconnected, says CCP
Ofcom should look beyond revenue generation for the government and seek firm commitments to the extension of mobile coverage into today's "not-spots" when it holds the 4G spectrum auctions next year.
So says the Communications Consumer Panel, an advisory board founded by the comms watchdog but independent of it.
The CCP argues that 3m Britons still don't have any mobile coverage for voice, let alone 2.5G or 3G connections for data. Ofcom should therefore favour 4G bidders who agree to connect these folk, it said today.
Bob Warner, the CCP's chair, said: "We have a unique opportunity to resolve the persistent problem of inadequate mobile coverage. Most places that were mobile coverage not-spots ten years ago are still not-spots today.
"The spectrum auction presents perhaps the only chance we have in the next decade to improve coverage in the nations and for rural communities."
He said the watchdog should set coverge obligations on bidders to ensure all parts of the UK gain a minimum level of data connectivity. Other zones of iffy coverage, such as London's underground, should be connected too.
All good advice, but Ofcom is - alas - under no obligation to take it.
Since the watchdog's auction terms are likely to be the subject of a legal challenge from at least one carrier or another - the way the UK's mobile services have rolled out over time has left many axes to be sharpened along the way - provisions for giving all of the UK population coverage seem unlikely to play a part in the auction's outcome. ®
The tube is already unpleasant enough for those of us who have no option but to use it.
If they could make it that voice was banned on the tube, and only texting + data allowed , then I'd be all for it. However if you've got Skype-like-service and broadband data, the voice restriction could be a bit pointless .
What with people treading on my feet, bashing me with ruck sacks which they seem to want to keep on their backs at all times, even on packed trains, gassing me with smelly armpits, and ting tinging me out with their crap in-ear headphones attached to music-player of some description, well the thought of having some idiot screaming down their phone, saying at 120 decibels " I'M ON THE TUBE" in their best Dom Joly voice just feels me with dread, fear and anger.
Please , NEVER allow voice calls on the tube.
"The CCP argues that 3m Britons still don't have any mobile coverage for voice"
Interesting isn't it that you hear claims such as coverage for 99% of the country? If you argue that the operators don't cover anything like 99% of the surface area of the country they counter by saying that they are talking about population. So how does that square with 3m people having no coverage? Sureley 3m people with no covreage would equate to 96% coverage at most.
On the tube?
One of the few pleasant things about going on the tube is that you don't have to listen to Charmaine's idiotic conversations with her matey. Of course, if they don't add sound proofing to the trains, no-one will be able to hear them anyway.