back to article Voda UK CEO says one thing about not-spots, Minister of Fun says another

Don’t hold your breath for better mobile phone coverage. While Vodafone UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp is hopeful that the government will do its bit as part of the not-spots agreement, Minister of Fun Ed Vaziey claims he’s already done it. We asked Hoencamp how he felt about having signed up to the not-spots deal when all the …

  1. Red Sceptic

    "But Vaziey thinks things are fine. He disagreed with our saying that independent research has found the UK to have the worst mobile coverage, particularly on trains, saying that the UK had a good mobile phone network."

    So you cite evidence for UK mobile networks being inferior, and the minister simply contradicts you, without bothering to cite any contrary evidence himself?

    Good God - I despair.

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      He's a Minister, why would he need evidence? All he needs is to know that a chunk of the public's votes will be swayed by something, and he'll jump right in.

      Evidence is for all those irritating scientists, engineers and other geeks. They never agree with Ministers on things which may win votes. They always want to do a job properly, not win votes. It's infuriating!

  2. HamsterNet


    If this CEO says that the UK's coverage is "good" I would hate to see what poor is like! He must live in central London and never travel. If he did then he might just realise just how poor his companies service really is.

    1. Simon Rockman

      Re: Coverage

      No, the Voda CEO is not saying UK coverage is good. He's saying it's bad because he's not allowed to build his cell sites fast enough and tall enough.

      It's the minister who disagreed with my cting the P3 research which says that the the UK has the worst coverage in Europe.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Coverage

      Ed Vaizey is the one claiming that the UK's coverage is "good" - he's the minister, not the CEO.

  3. Christopher Slater-Walker

    Ministers know nothing, strictly speaking

    What I mean is that he's is almost certainly not a specialist in radio networks, and all the knowledge that entails to do with radio coverage, frequency sharing etc. (and neither am I, as you can probably tell).

    He just repeats what his minions tell him, and if that doesn't sound right, he probably just makes it up on the spot. Which to my untrained eye, looks very much like what he's done here.

  4. moylan


    one's a politican and ones speaking for vodafone.

    i don't know which one to disbelieve more... :-)

  5. Adam Jarvis

    Its about time 2G was dropped from coverage maps / statistics.

    Ofcom should force all operators to only describe coverage in 3G and 4G terms. 2G coverage is all but irrelevant and useless and used by operators to make data coverage look better than it actually is.

    O2 2G data coverage checker in Wales (for instance) masks the sheer lack of any 3G/4G outside of Cardiff and Swansea. The trouble with Ofcom / Gov is that they are complicit with operators in trying to make it appear their joint polices - so called 'competition' aren't the failure they really are.

    I'd like to see Government temporary/permanent 'not-spot' masks, and each call / piece of 3G data fed through these, results in a fine for the said operator, for failing to build infrastructure to cover that area. If operators have customers in those areas they should be operating a full 3G/4G service, equally to all its customers.

    If not, 'fine revenue' should be used to build one. The UK need coverage, not just population coverage. The operators can then decide to either pay the ongoing fines or build a mast (subject to planning).

    I recently took the train from Bristol Temple Meads to Birmingham, and pretty much the only time I could use mobile data on EE (ipad) was the last 15 minutes into Birmingham, to say the signal was intermittant is an understatement. Yes, it was ocasionally there on route, but for a matter of 30 secs or so, while the mast came into and went out of view - useless.

    1. Smooth Newt

      Re: Its about time 2G was dropped from coverage maps / statistics.

      You are only interested in data coverage but other people are interested in voice coverage too, and many only in voice coverage. Lots of people don’t realise that when they make a call on a 3G phone it often actually uses the 2G network.

      Sorting out 3G/4G coverage on high speed trains is a different problem to geographic coverage since a train passing through a good coverage area might not have much coverage. In-motion multipath fast fading effects, signal attenuation from metal carriage walls (and maybe metallised windows too), high passenger density - both as 3G/4G service users and as radio wave absorbers, all add problems. These can only really be solved by putting hot spots on trains which would not solve geographical coverage.

    2. ilmari

      Re: Its about time 2G was dropped from coverage maps / statistics.

      What good are fines, if operators aren't allowed to build coverage anyway?

      How about maps of "We've set aside money to improve coverage here, but unfortunately we haven't received permission to do so"/"blocked by nimbys"

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Its about time 2G was dropped from coverage maps / statistics.

      All the UK networks (Vodafone, O2, Three, EE) give separate coverage maps for the differing technologies (ie. 2G, 3G and 4G) supported on their networks. As for O2 coverage outside of Cardiff, I assume you did click on the 3G and 4G tabs...

      No the problem isn't so much the networks coverage checkers - although these are limited. It is how all this coverage and user data is fed into the official coverage calculations to come up with the single headline figure governments and politicians are so fond of quoting.

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