Ever walked down a road with a pal, one of you managing to make a call or access mobile data while the other (on a different network) can't? To think, if all the networks just teamed up and shared their infrastructure, such tales of coverage blackspot woes could be eliminated for good.
According to the Financial Times, that was the plan proposed by Ed Vaizey, the minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries. He'd hoped the UK's major networks could come to an agreement over "national roaming", sending letters to carriers to push the issue, particularly in the more remote areas of the UK. But, with no apparent monetary incentive for the networks (and the potential to cause added costs for customers), it seems to have fallen through for the time being.
It's not over yet -- existing legislation would allow the government to lean on the networks until they comply -- but the issue for the time being stays with the networks. They'll have to figure out a solution amongst themselves, before the government's plans for a fully-connected Britain causes it to get heavy-handed with the operators. [Financial Times]