Search

Mobile phone companies EE, O2, Three and Vodafone to discuss coverage in Norfolk as 57pc of businesses lack 4G

File photo of a woman using a mobile phone. Photo: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

File photo of a woman using a mobile phone. Photo: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Archant

Representatives from the four main providers of mobile networks in Norfolk will attend a Norfolk County Council meeting later this month to discuss how mobile coverage in the county could be improved.

Senior figures from EE, Telefonica/O2, Three and Vodafone have agreed to come to a meeting of the council’s Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee on Monday, 22 January to update councillors on their current investment plans and identify any opportunities to work together to improve the quality and reach of mobile data and voice coverage in Norfolk.

Tom Garrod, Chairman of the Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee, said: “We all know that mobile coverage in Norfolk is some way off where we want and need it to be.

“Rather than grumble and point fingers, we want to see if there are practical things we can do to help the situation. I’m really pleased the four major mobile providers have accepted our invitation to come and talk to the committee. With a willingness to work together this could be a watershed moment for mobile connectivity in the county.”

As well as the four mobile providers, representatives from the mobile networks trade body, Mobile UK, and the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce will attend the meeting and take part in the discussion.

Nova Fairbank, Public Affairs Manager for Norfolk Chamber said: “Every Norfolk business wants to able to take advantage of new technology developments as they evolve. To achieve this we need more investment in our mobile signal infrastructure and changes in how the service providers operate i.e. roaming signals. The present mobile coverage maps show that there is still a big difference between coverage levels when using a mobile phone indoors and outdoors – by definition a mobile should be just that – mobile.

“A recent British Chambers of Commerce survey showed that 83pc of Norfolk business users experienced ‘not spots’; 43pc had access to 4G; and more concerning, there is still 11pc of business users who can only access 2G - voice calls only, with no internet or data.

“We have a diverse and innovative business community in Norfolk, however if we want to be seen as a place to do business and be able to compete at a national and international level, we need more investment in Norfolk’s mobile signal infrastructure and a better service from the mobile providers, including roaming signals.”

Opportunities to improve mobile coverage in Norfolk could include identifying and trying to remove any common barriers, using public sector buildings and assets to host mobile infrastructure and better sharing of information, including the results of the County Council’s recently announced mobile coverage survey. This will map mobile voice and data coverage across all major networks providing services in Norfolk. The council is due to award the contract to carry out the survey later this month and the results should be available in March.

Norfolk County Council’s Digital Innovation and Efficiency Committee will meet at 10am on Monday, 22 January at County Hall in Norwich, with the mobile telecommunications item due to be discussed at around 11am. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Other news

Yesterday, 20:09

Stephen Fry has revealed he is battling prostate cancer.

Yesterday, 16:27

Police are warning residents and retailers to be extra vigilant after reports of fake £20 notes being exchanged in North Norfolk and Broadland.

Yesterday, 14:38

Hard-working staff from Norfolk’s care sector were recognised for their successes at a glittering awards ceremony.

Yesterday, 17:49

An executive director at the region’s ambulance trust has announced his retirement.

Most Read

Yesterday, 20:09

Stephen Fry has revealed he is battling prostate cancer.

Read more
Norwich City
Yesterday, 13:53

People carrying out home improvements will soon have to pay to leave DIY waste at recycling centres in Norfolk.

Read more
County Council
Friday, December 8, 2017

A hotel in north Norfolk has been named among the best in the country by a national newspaper.

Read more
Nelson
Saturday, January 1, 2011

A night of celebration for thousands of revellers across Norfolk meant a “remarkably busy” night for police in the county on New Year’s Eve as they tried to deal with a barrage of alcohol-related disorder.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:49

An executive director at the region’s ambulance trust has announced his retirement.

Read more
NHS

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: -1°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter