Government aims to wipe out mobile ‘notspots’ with new legislation

The UK government is set to crack down on mobile 'notspots' – areas where a user's signal is low to non-existent – and is aiming a set of legislative measures at solving the issue.

It was revealed earlier this week that the government would be pushing through its mobile roaming plans despite protests from established networks. A series of talks with leading providers has yet to find a solution both parties can accept.

See more: Will national roaming solve out signal problems?

"It can't be right that in a fifth of the UK, people cannot use their phones to make a call. The government isn't prepared to let that situation continue," culture secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC.

Alongside the national roaming plans, the government hopes to reform the way that smaller networks – like Tesco and Virgin - make agreements with the larger providers. The bigger networks will also be charged with ensuring they cover a percentage of the UK.

The new plans have not been met warmly by mobile operators. Matthew Howett, analyst with research firm Ovum, told the BBC that the scheme is "a messy solution that ought to be abandoned."

Related: Will new EU roaming rules mean cheaper bills?

"What needs to happen over the next month is collectively for the mobile operators to work with government to come up with an agreeable fix that addresses not only poor voice coverage, but also data too," he added.

Further criticism has come from within the government, as Home Secretary Theresa May is reported to have said that the new plans would make it harder to track criminals and terrorists.

A recent report by OpenSignal revealed that 4G speeds have almost halved in the past year as more and more people sign up to use the service.