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Lanarkshire MSP’s call to phone networks after signal survey

More than half of the Airdrie and Shotts residents responding to a survey about mobile reception say they have “poor or very poor” signal connectivity and even have to leave home to be able to make calls.

Caldercruix, Longriggend, Shotts and Hareshaw were highlighted as particular problem areas following the survey conducted by constituency MSP Neil Gray.

He has now written to the chief executives of major networks EE, O2, Three and Vodafone to share the findings and ask them to consider any improvements which could be made.

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The survey results, collected over the past month, revealed that more than 60 per cent of respondents had “very poor or poor” connectivity, with more than half saying they had “no or intermittent” mobile internet.

Mr Gray said: “Many of the people who responded said they couldn’t even make calls from their home address as the signal was so bad, with some having to walk more than 10 minutes from their house to get any reception.

“I understand that not every part of a country will receive perfect coverage, but I hope the ‘big four’ [networks] will agree we must utilise all opportunities to extend coverage as it becomes a more important form of communication.

“As most people use their mobiles for accessing work, banking, emails and so on while out and about, surely it would be prudent to offer a service that does not drop out and is accessible to all.”

The MSP recently met Shared Rural Networks, set up between the UK government and networks to bring better mobile coverage to rural areas.

He added: “I have asked if this is something that the networks could utilise to enable my constituents to access better mobile connectivity.”

Mr Gray was prompted to carry out his survey of local reception after noting variation in the services available across the constituency, ranging from 3G to 5G, and saying it “doesn’t always match up to official data on coverage”.

He said: “Nowhere in the constituency is that remote, yet some places have very poor signal strength.

“I know providers are looking to invest in mobile network coverage, so I want to help inform their decisions by collecting as much data as possible to urge more investment in infrastructure.”

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