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Notspots

This blog is about the 'not-spot', no not hotspot a 'notspot'!

We have to be honest when we first hit upon this term we thought it may have referred to a new face cream.

Only joking ... well only partially!  A 'not-spots' is indeed a term. A not-spot or notspot, we are not quite sure on the correct spelling of this, to hyphen or not to hyphen? Anyhow what we do know is that if you live within a dreaded notspot it means that sending a text or receiving a call is going to prove rather difficult.

According to a recent government report partial 'notspots', where there is coverage from some but not all of the mobile networks, affected a fifth of the UK, leaving people unable to make calls or send texts. So how is your mobile-phone coverage?

Thankfully this is a situation the government is determine to see change. Unfortunately for the Culture Secretary Sajid Javid a series of talks held with mobile operators has so far failed to find a solution.

"It can't be right that in a fifth of the UK, people cannot use their phones to make a call. The government isn't prepared to let that situation continue," he said.

The proposals to end the frustration - currently only aimed at improving 2G services - are as follows:

* National roaming - phones would use another network when theirs was unavailable, similar to how roaming works when abroad

* Infrastructure sharing - mobile networks would be able to put transmitters on each other's masts

* Reforming virtual networks - agreements that companies such as Tesco and Virgin currently have with single operators would be extended to all four networks

* Coverage obligation - obliging the networks to cover a certain percentage of the UK - and leaving them to decide how to do it

The government has given the industry, businesses and the public until 26 November to respond to the proposals.

It is the first proposal that has proved to be contentious. Not only would the costly, complex and somewhat messy 'roaming' prove to a battery drainer but it could also prove to be a no go due to safety issues. According to Teresa May in a letter that was leaked to The Times, she complained that national roaming “could have a detrimental impact on law enforcement, security and intelligence agency access to communications data”. She wants the police to be unhampered in their access to “information that is crucial to keeping us safe”.

By “us”, one can assume she means the public, not just the government. This leads us to another issue, why is our government listening in to our phone calls? That said I am pretty certain my mobile chatter will not prove that interesting to our esteemed politicians!

I am going to keep my eye on this roaming malarky and watch what I am saying!

Until next time. 

About James Boyce

James is one of the founder's and a Director of Comms Express, and has been in the Networking Industry for 10 years.