Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Timmy Dooley TD is calling on Irish mobile phone operators to change the way they measure and report 3G and 4G coverage to better reflect the reality facing phone users on the ground.

“Advertisement after advertisement from a variety of phone operators makes claims that they provide 90% or 93% coverage. This is highly misleading,” said Dooley.

“What’s hidden in the fine print is that their definition of coverage is based on where people are resident, and not geographic coverage.”

“People in vast swathes of Ireland are incapable of receiving decent, consistent phone coverage, particularly in rural and remote communities, because operators are focusing on boosting coverage in easy to reach, urban areas, while anyone who has to travel, even between major population centres, are experiencing very unreliable services and dropped calls.”

“Only today one operator reported that they will invest an additional €250 million into improving their network. This is obviously very welcome, but the real question is will they use this investment to boost the network further just in urban areas, or focus on improving the experience of people travelling around and the network in rural communities?”

“When you travel across certain parts of the the country, phone coverage is completely unreliable, placing people and communities in danger,” added the Clare TD.

“What would happen if an accident occurred, and an ambulance was needed to be called?”

“The Minister needs to be clear in his ongoing negotiations with mobile phone operators that they must focus on providing coverage across the entire state, and not just in easy to reach urban areas,” argued Dooley.