Poor signal hits car service

Heckington Windmill. EMN-150304-100807001

Heckington Windmill. EMN-150304-100807001

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A leader of a voluntary car service which takes patients to hospital appointments is saying the poor mobile phone coverage in their village is making it difficult to operate.

Richard Higgs of Heckington Area Voluntary Car Service raised the issue on a local Facebook page and received 57 replies from people unhappy about mobile coverage in the village of 4,000 residents.

Mr Higgs said it has caused the car service problems: “If we drop someone off at hospital, patients wanting to get home have been ringing and been unable to contact us.”

He had contacted major mobile operators who assured him their coverage was fine and there are several masts in the village. He said: “The phone companies are genuinely shocked when you tell them there is no coverage on various providers.”

Christine Jude, a spokeswoman for the Mobile Operators Association said mobile phone coverage is already very good in the UK. She went on: “That said, the operators acknowledge that coverage in some places is not as good as the public wants and expects. That is why they are investing £5 billion over the next three years to deliver coverage improvements across the country for 2G, 3G and 4G.

“Operators are continuing to upgrade sites across Lincolnshire and local planning authorities have a role to play in improving coverage for local communities.”

Operators have agreed to provide voice and text coverage to at least 90 per cent of the UK land mass by the end of 2017, ensuring that full coverage from all big four operators will increase from 69 per cent to 85 per cent of geographic areas by 2017.