UK government reveals plans to improve mobile coverage

But the government has now stepped in, unveiling plans to eliminate the poor mobile coverage that it says affects a fifth of the UK. A consultation is now under way to consider various methods to improve mobile coverage.

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The areas in question are labelled "partial not-spots" because, while they might have coverage from at least one of the four major networks, customers not on those networks face the prospect of having no coverage.

A number of options have now been put forward as part of the government consultation, with a "national roaming" scheme among them. This would let customers use another network if their own did not have a signal.

Culture secretary Sajid Javid said: "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."

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Meanwhile, the University of Surrey has confirmed that it has joined forces with a consortium of network operators, infrastructure providers, media groups and Ofcom to create a 5G Innovation Centre at its Guildford campus.

BT, the BBC, EE, Samsung and Vodafone are among the members of the consortium, which is pledging time, expertise and other contributions worth over £30m to the venture – in addition to £11.6m of public funding.

The consortium will work with the University of Surrey to establish a 5G "test bed", which means that the next generation of mobile broadband technology can be tested in a real-world scenario. The centre will open in January.

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Pete was content editor on What Hi-Fi?, overseeing production and publication of digital content. In creating and curating feature articles for web and print consumption, he provided digital and editorial expertise and support to help reposition What Hi-Fi? as a ‘digital-first’ title; reflecting the contemporary media trends. He is now a senior content strategist.