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Call for Vodafone, Three and Meteor to be questioned over mobile coverage

Labour TD Michael McNamara’s comments have been rejected by the Irish Cellular Industry Association, an alliance of mobile operators.

Image: Shutterstock/PathDoc

LABOUR TD MICHAEL McNamara has called for Ireland’s three mobile phone licence holders to be brought before the Oireachtas communications committee.

The Clare deputy said that claims of “99% population coverage” made by Vodafone, Three and Meteor have “more holes in [them] than their service”.

“Despite the claims of the mobile companies, it is clear to me that coverage has deteriorated in the past year in Clare,” he said in a statement.

If the complaints regarding coverage that I have received are anything to go by, most of the 1% of the Irish population that the telephone companies admit do not have coverage, must live in Co Clare.

McNamara also urged telecoms regulator ComReg to look into “the extent to which [mobile phone companies'] claims, as well as their licensing obligations, are monitored and verified”.

“It may be time to consider issuing licences that would require the holders to provide a certain quality of service to a geographical area as opposed to population,” he added.

Response

Torlach Denihan, director of the Irish Cellular Industry Association, an alliance of mobile operators, today rejected the Labour TD’s comments, saying occasional disruptions to service are often unavoidable “due to the nature of mobile technology”.

“All operators work hard and invest heavily in their networks to keep any service impacting issues to a minimum and customers can rest assured that all necessary measures to restore service are done so as quickly as possible,” he said.

Denihan added that the telecommunications industry has invested €2.5 billion in network infrastructure in 2010, with further capital investment planned to upgrade core infrastructure and roll out 4G over the coming years.

Read: Roaming charges are (finally) set to be scrapped from June 2017

Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week

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Catherine Healy

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