Publication Result

Consultation and information on technical licence conditions

for 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum and related matters

Response to the consultation from RCN - August 2011

4th generation Mobile Communications – Rural Mobile Coverage

Ofcom, the government organisation which oversees all forms of broadcasting and radio communications, is currently consulting on the issues concerning the provision of 4th generation mobile communications.

The 1st generation mobile communications covers analogue mobile phones and text messaging while 2nd & 3rd generation is digital coverage, for example, picture messaging, video calling and some browsing.  4th generation is aimed at improving how  smartphones work as data is transferred much more quickly - imagine your Blackberry or Iphone connected directly to wi-fi only out and about.

The difficulty that we, as rural dwellers in Northern Ireland, face when using mobile communication is poor coverage even when making basic phone calls.  This is to do with the licence ‘obligation’ which Ofcom imposes on providers. The current standard says that 90% of the UK Population must be covered – providers (i.e. O2, Vodafone etc) meet this standard by making sure all the large urban centres are covered.  As a consequence, peripheral areas are poorly served, if at all, and ‘notspots’ prevail in rural areas.

For the current Ofcom consultation, click here

This is an opportunity to state your views on the current coverage obligation and if you feel it would benefit yourself, your group or your organisation, please make a response. Attached is RCN’s response to the consultation.

For more information, visit (see page 9 for the obligation standard).

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