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November 8, 1988

CELLULAR OPERATORS INVEST TO IMPROVE SERVICE IN FACE OF USER COMPLAINTS

By CBR Staff Writer

UK cellular telephone users are urging service providers Racal Vodafone and Cellnet to increase investment in their network infrastructures to ease congestion. A survey carried out among 270 large companies that are cellular uses by the Telecommunications Users Association (CI No 1,043) lists the four most common complaints arising from congestion as inability to access the service, constant cut-off during calls, continual engaged signals and unacceptable quality of transmission. There is far too much hype from equipment vendors. They oversell the ability of the network without qualification of the ability of the technology in handling the demand. The raising of expectations has been too high said one user. Vodafone said that it is investing UKP75m in infrastructure equipment which will be implemented by the end of the financial year and claimed that the overload is starting to tail off. Cellnet is investing UKP40m in a sectorisation programme in the London region which splits each cell into six and boosts area capacity by 2.5 times. But a spokesman said that the company envisages capacity problems outside London within the next couple of years and is urging the Ministry of Defence to release more of its ETACS frequencies. Retailers were also criticised in the report for the hidden cost element with charges for connection, which by up to 20% in some cases.

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