Mobile coverage ‘needs to improve’

John Lamont MSP Scottish Conservative Party
John Lamont MSP Scottish Conservative Party

New research published by Ofcom suggests that there 
is still plenty of room for 
improvment in mobile phone coverage and customer satisfaction in rural Scotland.

The research shows the percentage of failed calls in rural Scotland varies from more than 15% to less than 4%, depending on which provider is used.

And even when mobile users think they have signal and try to make a call, around one in six still fail, compared to urban areas which have a failed call rate of only 2%.

According to Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP John Lamont the findings highlight once again the lack of signal being received in rural parts of Scotland, and comes after a Scottish Government report in 2013 that suggests the Borders is amongst the worst local authority area for mobile connectivity in Scotland.

John Lamont MSP said: “Residents in the Borders are all too aware of the problems we have regarding poor mobile connectivity. You can travel for miles around the region without even a single bar of signal, cutting you off totally when you need to get in contact with someone.

“This research by Ofcom shows that even when people have signal, they are far more likely to have a failed call than in more urban areas.

“It also shows that there is a big difference between providers, so I would urge mobile phone users to shop around and change provider if they discover they can get better reception.

“We also need to move forward with ensuring that appropriately sited mobile masts are not blocked by planning laws.

“Poor mobile coverage is a nuisance for residents, but it is also important for businesses and in the Borders we risk getting left behind.”