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UK government may force carriers to allow roaming between networks

A new UK law could help end mobile black spots as a new legislation is currently being considered that would require network providers to introduce “roaming”, allowing users to switch networks when they have no signal from their normal provider.

Sajid Javid, the Culture Secretary, is the one behind the proposed law, which would allow UK residents to switch between networks. It is currently estimated that one million people in the UK spread across a fifth of the country, suffer from bad network coverage. A consultation on the reforms is expected to happen later this week.

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This news comes after the four big networks, including Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three, failed to reach a voluntary agreement with ministers on improving mobile coverage in areas where networks were unreliable.

Customers that are tied in to lengthy contracts with phone operators can’t use their devices to send/receive text messages or make phone calls in some areas, which are considered ‘partial not-spots’. However, other networks may be available in these areas so a partnership between phone operators would greatly benefit UK consumers.

According to the Telegraph, UK residents visiting foreign countries and foreigners visiting the UK should be able to make use of ‘roaming facilities’ to switch to local networks in order to stay connected.

A Whitehall source speaking with The Telegraph 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.”

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KitGuru Says: Allowing customers to switch between networks while in bad coverage zones would greatly benefit consumers. Would you guys like to  see this new legislation pass? Hopefully the networks play along and make this happen sooner rather than later.

Source: The Telegraph

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