Who's to blame for pesky phone blackspots?
"SORRY, I don't know what happened there." Is there a more oft-repeated opening phrase in our everyday communications?
Dropped calls and dodgy coverage are among modern life's permanent vicissitudes. All over Ireland, 'blackspots' abound, some in heavily urbanised areas. With 15 years of mass mobile use under our belts, why does this still happen? Partly, it's because of our increasingly insatiable appetite to use network-hogging services such as video-streaming, photo-sharing and social media on our mobiles. (Next month's launch of Apple's large-screen, video-friendly iPhone 6 won't help.)
In other cases, it is a simple lack of infrastructure due to non-profitable conditions or planning objections. Even in 2014, there are large swathes of the countryside that don't even have a basic 3G signal, let alone a 4G network roll-out plan. Minimum standards for mobile operators are quite basic. But at least the telecom regulator is trying to get a firmer fix on the scale of the problem.