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BCC: Half of businesses not seeing improvement in UK mobile network

Only half of businesses believe the UK’s phone network is more reliable than five years ago, according to new research by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

A survey by the BCC of over 1,100 businesses, found that while 53% of firms believe the reliability of the UK’s mobile phone network has improved compared to five years ago, 30% believe there has been no change and 16% say that it is less reliable.

Despite welcome investment and progress in the rollout of mobile coverage, businesses across the country still report problems with accessing reliable mobile coverage. In response to the frustration of business communities, last month the BCC launched its No More Not Spots campaign to end not spots for voice coverage where UK phone users live, work, travel and play.

As part of the campaign, business communities have been identifying gaps in UK mobile coverage by logging them online. In one month, over 500 not spots have been identified across the country.

Not spots, and areas of partial not spots, undermine the connectivity and productivity of UK businesses. The recent survey also found that 21% of businesses don’t believe the UK’s mobile phone network meets their needs in accessing new and existing customers, suppliers and employees.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“A reliable mobile signal is a basic everyday requirement for businesses.

"Despite big investments in the mobile network in recent years, nearly half of businesses say they haven’t seen improvements - so there's clearly still work to do to translate upgrades into a better real-life experience for users. That's why Chambers of Commerce are campaigning for improvements all across the UK. 

“In just one month, phone users have already identified over 500 not spots, areas across the UK where they can’t get mobile signal. Not spots generate understandable frustration, and undermine firms’ productivity and their ability to connect with customers, suppliers and employees. Our campaign is bringing together business communities, industry and government to resolve these issues locally.

“Better mobile coverage is part of getting the basics right, so that business can drive growth across the UK. Ministers must pay more attention to delivering a great environment for growth here at home, not spend all their time on the twists and turns of Brexit. A reliable national mobile network must be high on the list -- so that we can take advantage of new technologies like 5G in future."

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