Many people in the UK take for granted the use of their mobile phone at anytime and anywhere. However, there are still 80,000 premises in the UK which are located in areas without any mobile phone coverage – these areas are referred to as ‘Not Spots.’
A recent study undertaken by Accent and Rand Europe established that a lack of mobile phone coverage in rural areas has a negative impact on all sizes of business, thereby, leading to long term sustainability of communities.
The results found that residents and businesses alike place a tangible economic value on high quality, reliable mobile phone signal. Both groups would be willing to pay more money to reduce the distance they travel to gain stronger mobile coverage. Residents reported being willing to pay £12 per month (+/- £4.10 at 90 per cent level of confidence), and businesses around £20.90 per month (+/- £11.50). It was also noted that the further distance people reported having to travel to get a signal, the greater their willingness to pay.
Some younger respondents indicated that a lack of mobile phone signal makes a place less desirable to live in which is probably not surprising when you consider the figures for mobile phone ownership in the UK and the generation of social media users.
Almost all respondents believe that improved mobile reception would have a positive impact on the entire community. Reasons for this comprised:
- The value of mobile connectivity for those seeking employment
- Time management
- Reducing anxiety over being out of contact
- Helping businesses to collaborate
Speaking about the research, Rob Sheldon, Managing Director at Accent, said: “These results highlight really interesting findings on the value placed on good mobile phone connections. What is clear is the impact which poor mobile signal can have on rural communities as a whole, and also the effect upon local businesses no matter what their size.”
For further information and to see the report in full, please click here or contact Rob Sheldon on 07770 755538 or firstname.lastname@example.org