New law could put an end to phone signal 'black spots'

Mobile network
'Not-spots' may soon be outlawed

If you live in an area where you struggle to get mobile network reception, we feel your pain. But you could be in luck as the UK Government is looking at introducing legislation that will force mobile telephone companies to eliminate blackspots in their network coverage.

The Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid, is said to be considering a new law that would require networks to introduce network roaming across the UK.

This would allow customers to switch networks if their network provider can't provide coverage in that area.

The law would mean that, say you're an O2 customer in an area that can only get Vodafone coverage, you'd be able to quickly and temporarily switch to the other network to make and receive calls, much like you would if you travelled abroad.

Network hopping

The Government is said to be launching a consultation on the new law a week after the 'big four' - Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three – failed to reach a voluntary agreement to improve coverage in areas where reception is poor.

With the companies failing to voluntarily improve network coverage, it looks like the UK Government is looking at stricter ways to force the companies to comply.

Further details about the law, such as whether or not there will be an additional roaming charge for using another network, have not been announced.

The new law might not help areas where there is no network coverage at all, but ministers have promised to provide £150 million to fund new mobile phone masts in rural areas.

Via The Telegraph

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.