Mobile phone networks under fire from MSP

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Mobile phone users in Argyll and Bute are being treated as second class citizens, according to constituency MSP Michael Russell.

Mr Russell says that poor mobile coverage in the area, and in particular the lack of 3G, leaves the area lagging behind - and is at odds with statement by the big four networks stating that mobile communications “are vital for the UK’s economic competitiveness and in promoting social inclusion”.

Mr Russell has blasted the Mobile Operators Association, who represent the big four operators, for their claim.

“This is plainly not true,” he said, “particularly for those living in Argyll and Bute.

“Almost all of my constituency has no 3G coverage which gives us no economic benefit and is certainly not socially inclusive.

“Whilst these companies are getting excited and gearing up for major investment for the forthcoming 4G, people in Argyll and Bute are feeling like second class citizens, [and] what’s more they are paying the same as those who do have the infrastructure.

“This is clearly inequitable and puts not only Argyll and Bute at a disadvantage but huge areas of rural Scotland.

“Previous requests for a meeting from me and letters from others have gone unanswered. I will be getting back touch to demand a meeting and will not take no for an answer.

“I am determined that my constituents will be heard and I will be demanding action on their behalf.”

The MOA’s website states that there are now more than 81.6 million mobile subscriptions in the UK.

More than 5.1 million customers now access mobile broadband services via a laptop and dongle, and 39 per cent of UK adults use their mobile phones for internet access. Tablet ownership rose to 11% of UK households.