Technological progress ought to bring better mobile coverage but we’ve found it’s got worse when we’re on the road.
We used to get good reception up the Waitaki Valley from Duntroon to the Otematata saddle, now it’s intermittent.
State Highway 1 from Christchurch south has suffered a similar drop in reliable reception and on other roads we use often, coverage is no longer consistent.
My farmer and I were blaming new phones and called into a Spark shop to discuss the issue last week.
The helpful young man who served us fired up his computer which told him that the changeover to 3G means rural coverage isn’t sparking as it used to. It’s led to patchy reception in many of the areas where it used to be better.
Friends who use Vodafone and 2Degrees tell us they are faring no better.
This isn’t just a matter of convenience.
Reliable mobile coverage is necessary for many rural businesses and it can also be a matter of safety when there’s an accident or illness.
We’re in desperate need of a bright spark to come up with a solution to improve reception and ensure mobile coverage is at its sparkling best.