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Changes To Mobile Phone Drive Tests

Tests carried out by the Communication’s Regulator to verify that mobile phone coverage is properly available throughout the country should be expanded, the Oireachtas Communications Committee has now confirmed.

At a meeting, the Regulator told Committee members it performs six monthly “drive tests” throughout the country to ensure good phone coverage exists and to identify coverage black spots.

However, under questioning from the Committee, it was revealed that these tests are carried out on national primary routes only and ignore national secondary, tertiary and county routes.

Oireachtas Committee Member and Tipperary Fine Gael Deputy Noel Coonan TD stated;

“A significant proportion of the population live nowhere near national primary routes, including many people in North Tipperary. Therefore, the Committee feels that these drive tests can not give a comprehensive picture of levels of phone coverage throughout the country and cannot conclusively authenticate if mobile phone companies are fulfilling their minimum requirements under their license.
These tests should be extended to other types of roads such as secondary, tertiary and county roads around the constituency so the complete situation regarding areas where coverage is poor can be identified. We heard today from Committee members about areas in their constituencies which are bedevilled by bad coverage, so having a more thorough idea of where these areas are would help the operators to address these shortcomings”

The Communications Regulator conducts six monthly ‘drive tests’ which consist of a car with specialist equipment driving around the country assessing mobile coverage.

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