Government has high hopes for reducing mobile coverage black spots

21 Feb 2018

Will there be improvements in Ireland's mobile signal standards this year? Image: Syda Productions

The Irish Government says practical solutions for poor mobile phone coverage in the country are on the way.

The Government’s Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce Implementation Review 2017 has been released, and it claims that the number of mobile coverage black spots in Ireland is being reduced.

Given the fivefold increase in mobile data usage in Ireland over the last five years, there is a clear requirement to address the ongoing problem of poor mobile coverage across the country.

The pilot project is being helmed by the Department of Rural and Community Development as well as the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, together with local authorities and mobile operators.

Improving mobile signal around Ireland

A focus group specifically targeted to the flagging of areas with poor signal is also being set up, and Communications Minister Denis Naughten, TD, said this will hopefully lead to a major reduction in the quantity of mobile black spots in the country.

ComReg is helping to progress a national mobile coverage map to help customers and businesses choose the network provider that best meets their needs from their specific location. It is examining handset sensitivity so consumers can make more informed purchasing decisions.

The regulatory body also has a mobile phone repeater scheme in the works to bring more immediate mobile coverage improvements to underserved locations.

The Government hopes to provide quality coverage along all major road networks in Ireland by the end of this year.

Naughten praises cooperation

Naughten wrote: “A lot has been achieved in 2017, which this annual review sets out in detail.

“One of the most positive aspects to emerge from the work of the taskforce is the extent to which practical cooperation between all agencies has developed.

“This has been fundamental to achieving real results and actions on the ground that have delivered improvements in services for people, particularly in rural Ireland.”

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects