In our Mostly Mobile consultation published July 2009 we pointed out that, while mobile network availability is generally good, coverage issues persist. There is still a noticeable difference between 3G coverage in rural and urban areas, and also between different parts of the UK. 2G coverage is unlikely to be extended further on commercial grounds. Despite continuing roll-out of 3G networks, 3G is unlikely to extend beyond the 2G network footprint, which may result in persistent coverage problems for some areas.
In regulating the mobile sector in the future, we will build on the consumer and economic benefits that have been driven by the mobile sector, rather than adopt a new regulatory approach. We see the main areas of our regulatory activity as helping to promote competition and innovation, safeguarding consumer interests, and tackling, where appropriate, problems that the market fails to solve adequately (such as coverage not-spots).
This statement concludes our assessment of the mobile sector. However, the mobile sector is highly dynamic and subject to ongoing change. Some recent developments, such as the Independent Spectrum Broker's (ISB) report and the proposed merger between T-Mobile and Orange, may well have significant implications for the conclusions set out in this document and for our future work programme.