Mobile phone coverage across the UK may be about to improve, with mobile operator O2 seeking a controversial merger with rival Three.
The £10.25bn deal looks set to merge coverage patterns, potentially providing shared coverage to customers of either network in more rural areas, and comes just two weeks after BT took similar ownership of EE, the UK’s single biggest mobile operator.
Of course, whilst consumers may be set to enjoy improved signal from shared infrastructure, this may come at greater expense. Both the European Commission and Ofcom have raised numerous monopoly fears about the merger, arguing that fewer than four mobile providers in the UK risks less competitive pricing for customers.
Three’s parent company, CK Hutchinson, has attempted to counter by promising in a public letter to the Financial Times that prices will not increase for at least five years.
Unlike in many other EU countries, the UK does not enjoy a universal service obligation for mobile phone coverage data strength – lose signal in North Devon and no rival provider’s phone mast has any obligation to offer phone coverage for anything other than 999 emergency calls. Travel abroad and your phone will ‘roam’ to a friendly foreign network to ensure you always have the option of staying connected.
The solution to some coverage blindspots may be right around the corner in the form of fewer, bigger networks for everyone – but don’t rule out paying more for it.
For a wide range of IT services right here in North Devon, contact Lineal today: www.lineal.co.uk or 01271 375999