Remember all that talk about national roaming? The idea that phone users could piggyback on top of a different network's signal when the signal from their current network is not adequate. So far networks have resisted this idea, but new legislation might not give them a choice.
It's estimated that a million people suffer from unreliable network coverage, and after attempts to create a voluntary scheme involving the 'big four' (O2, EE, Vodafone, and Three) fell through Culture Secretary Sajid Javid is considering legislation that would force them to let people piggyback on other networks if their coverage is particularly poor. It's reported that such a system would be similar to how people can switch between local networks in order to stay connected while abroad.
A source from Whitehall said:
“We want to eradicate this situation of partial not-spots … There is expected to be a consultation in the coming days and this could include a legislative option. If these companies do not change, we might force them to change.”
The networks might not be overly fond of the idea of sharing mast space, but it would definitely benefit us -- especially people in rural areas. [The Telegraph]