Government Abandons Forced Roaming as Mobile Coverage Solution

By Gary Cutlack on at

Jeremy Wright, who was the nation's culture secretary until he was replaced by Nicky Morgan yesterday, has hinted that the mobile networks may not be forced to open their networks up to users contracted to their rivals, as the big networks are close to agreeing a funding and mast-building package that'll tick enough boxes to get them off the hook.

The threat of being made to open their networks to all users was made as part of the government's ambition to get 95 per cent of the UK's landmass covered by a decent mobile signal, granting reciprocal access to subscribers in areas where there's only one mast from one network offering a quality connection.

Wright, before he was sacked, reiterated the plan to have the 95 per cent UK coverage target hit by 2022, and it seems that a joint mobile industry proposal to build thousands of new rural masts using money saved from a reduction in the licence fees the operators pay the Treasury is now a goer, or is about to be signed off, as long as the new culture secretary doesn't have other ideas or need the money to shore up Johnson's other wild promises. [FT via Techradar]