Could this be the end of mobile phone black spots in Norfolk and Suffolk?

Free roaming could be introduced in the UK to fill mobile phone black spots. Free roaming could be introduced in the UK to fill mobile phone black spots.

Sunday, June 22, 2014
11:50 AM

Mobile phone black spots could become a thing of the past in Norfolk and Suffolk under new government plans to force operators to share their networks for users in the UK.

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The scheme is being led by culture secretary Sajid Javid and has won support from prime minister David Cameron, who reportedly became frustrated after repeatedly losing a signal in Norfolk and is understood to be tired of losing calls in his Witney constituency.

Norfolk was one of three counties officials focused on when investigating the policy earlier this year, along with Shropshire and Dorset.

Government research has identified 12 parts of Norfolk where no mobile emergency signal exists.

Ministers are now in talks with mobile phone operators about the introduction of national roaming, which would allow a customer of any operator to use the network of another.

The move follows the launch of the EDP’s “Let’s Get Connected” campaign to improve mobile phone coverage in Norfolk last year.

It also comes after a European Union ruling that will bring in free roaming from 2016.

This would mean foreign visitors could benefit from free roaming in the UK while UK residents could not unless action is taken.

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: “The government has made clear it wants to ensure the UK has world-class mobile phone coverage as part of our investment in infrastructure for the long-term economic plan.

“We are investing up to £150m to improve mobile coverage in areas where there is currently no coverage from any of the Mobile Network Operators.

“Of course we want to look at what more can be done in areas with poor coverage.”

The national Mobile Infrastructure Project, a £150m scheme to provide mobile phone mast infrastructure in ‘not spot’ clusters, had previously identified the A143 between Great Yarmouth and Haverhill as one of 10 trunk roads in the country that needed investment.

Although 12 new clusters of Norfolk ‘not spots’ were identified this year, Norfolk County Council has not revealed where they are because their locations were shared with the authority under a non-disclosure agreement.

6 comments

  • There is no connection in Loddon. It is not a black spot it is a black hole. However the loocals were asked whether they wanted a mast on top of the tallest building (as usual the church tower) and they all moaned about it and objected so the providers went away. No sympathy there.

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    alecto

    Monday, June 23, 2014

  • The article clearly states... "had previously identified the A143 between Great Yarmouth and Haverhill as one of 10 trunk roads in the country that needed investment." *Chuckles* At how 10 trunk roads where a driver isn't allowed to use a mobile are those in need of the investment

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    Stewart Gibbens

    Monday, June 23, 2014

  • Expat.......strange comment..! So, it sounds like you don’t own a mobile then or you do but not bothered if you have no signal. Katman...Go to a spot where your network provider has no signal then browse for other networks, you will find that two or three other networks pop up, that’s how it will be shared. They all currently do this with 999 calls so no matter where you are you can still dial 999, and this works the same way.

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    MickB1

    Monday, June 23, 2014

  • 'free roaming from 2016' actually means the removal of roaming charges. This will benefit UK residents while in the EU area. It does not mean other Euro visitors get to use any available network.

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    mrfill

    Monday, June 23, 2014

  • Should be more "not spots" not less.

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    expat

    Sunday, June 22, 2014

  • OK so I am confused by this. "12 parts of Norfolk where no emergency signal exits" would seem to indicate that NO NETWORK covers them so how would sharing eliminate that. Are they coing to be forced to erect extra transmitters. Also "European Union ruling that will bring in free roaming from 2016" which will benefit European visitors but would exclude UK residents. Again, I don't understand that either. IF the EU is going to dictate that any EU citizen should have free roaming across member states how can that possible exclude us. We are after all a part of the EU are we not ???

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    Katman

    Sunday, June 22, 2014

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