Page last updated at 05:53 GMT, Friday, 16 October 2009 06:53 UK

Mobiles set for mountain roaming

Mourne mountains
Roaming could help those in trouble in isolated places

Mobile phone users will be able to call the emergency services from another UK network on 999 if their own network is unavailable, Ofcom, has said.

The development is one of a number of steps announced by the communications regulator after recent consultation on communications services.

Phones will automatically switch over to whichever network has the best signal should 999 or 112 be dialled.

The Mourne Rescue Team has welcomed the development.

Chairman Ed Kilgore MBE said: "The more chance there is of making an emergency call on your mobile when you're in trouble in the mountains, the quicker rescue teams can come to your aid.

"Roaming to another UK mobile network will give people greater reassurance of being able to make a call that could save their life."

Other steps from the consultation include reviewing services for disabled consumers, addressing mobile phone "not spots" where there is bad coverage, encouraging broadband take-up and digital participation and reviewing the Universal Service Obligation for fixed-line phones.

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