Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur is calling on mobile phone operators to improve the service they deliver to customers living in island communities.
In addition to reiterating the importance of improving mobile phone coverage in Orkney and other parts of the Highlands & Islands, Mr McArthur has urged the main providers to establish mobile ‘pop up’ shops that can be used in these areas to provide advice, support and information about products and services.
Mr McArthur has written to each of the main mobile phone providers, setting out a proposal that he argues would allow customers in Orkney:
“While there is more to be done to improve overall mobile phone coverage in Orkney, the availability of 3G and 4G is now more widespread in Orkney. In addition, we now know that Orkney is set to be one of the pilot areas for 5G.
“This is good news, even if it has been a long time coming.
“At the same time, however, customers in Orkney have never had ready access to the advice and support available through the retail outlets run by the main operators in major cities. While it is perhaps not realistic to expect any of these companies to be able to open a standalone shop in Orkney, there is no reason why a ‘pop up’ version could not be used to provide some of these same services in Orkney and other parts of the Highlands & Islands two or three times a year.
“Such an initiative would have the additional benefit of giving staff working for these companies a better idea of what coverage is like across the region and the sort of challenges faced by their customers.
“Following the last Northern Isles Digital Forum in February, I had initial discussions with one of the operators, who was positive about the idea. While that is encouraging, I now want to see a firm commitment to action by each of the operators”.