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UK national mobile roaming: A stupid idea that'll never work


(I live outside UK)

I remember when men from "the mobile phone company" came survey the local geography. As this is quite a small town, word of the strangers quickly got around, and soon there was quite a crowd, some with their moose hunting rifles "just in case".

When the strangers explained that they were looking for a good site to erect a mobile phone mast, everyone was quick to put their knives and rifles away, shake the hands if the strangers, "I have a hill not far from here you shoukd come look at" - "My hill is the tallest hill in town, it would obviously be mich better", and so on.

Eventually they placed it on my neighbour's hill, not because neighbour had a taller hill, or wanted less money, but because it had easier access.

Anyway, what never quire became clear, was which company was building the mast. There were 3 operators, and stories about whose mast it was varied monthly. Eventually, years later, I found that it was none of them. A small regional ISP had branched out into mast building. They had a line of fibre going i a straight line through the region, and towers placed at intervals along the fibre. To both sides of the fibre gateway, they placed towers that they linked with microwave links. Space in the masts and capacity on their backbone was rented out to any operator.

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