SHODDY MOBILE COVERAGE is hobbling the productivity of UK business, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
The BCC surveyed more than 1,400 UK business in January and found that 70 per cent reported 'not spots' - areas where there is no mobile coverage by any carrier - and 'partial not spots' where some of the major networks do not provide coverage.
It will come as little surprise to rural businesses to discover that service is much worse outside of the big cities. 91 per cent reported a lack of coverage, compared with 56 per cent in urban areas.
Rural businesses also receive a worse deal when it comes to mobile internet connections, with 54 per cent complaining of unreliable connectivity compared with 29 per cent overall.
Only 43 per cent percent of business reported that they could use 4G in their area. Six percent of business still have to make do with a 2G connection.
Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the BCC, said: "All across the country businesspeople complain about patchy mobile coverage and unreliable internet connections in their local areas.
"Time and again, I hear from frustrated businesspeople who can't use their mobiles or access the internet when they need to - basic requirements for companies to work on the move, trade online, and connect with customers and suppliers."
Urging the regulator Ofcom to do more to hold networks to account for poor services, Marshall added: "According to their rules, virtually all UK premises must receive 4G signal by the end of the year, but the results of our research suggest that we're a long way off achieving that target.
"It's clear that the UK is lagging in the delivery of access to a world-class digital infrastructure."
A recent report by consumer group Which? found that one-third of people in the UK can't receive 4G speeds on their smartphones - noting that the UK is outranked by countries such as Peru and Estonia for 4G mobile coverage. µ
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