Poor reception for hospital mobiles


A Government move to ease restrictions on mobile phone use in hospitals could be difficult to implement because of poor coverage inside buildings.

Following the announcement this week prompted by concerns for patient communications and the premium rates charged by bedside phone providers, communications and network provider ADC said it would not be as easy as taking down the “no mobile phones allowed” signs. It said people could experience difficulty using their phones within hospital buildings due to poor network reception.

ADC vice president John Spindler said: “Arguments for this liberalisation of policy have been around for over five years now, but unfortunately the planners of new hospitals have failed to act with foresight.

“Despite this lack of preparation there is no reason why facilities can’t be modified to provide adequate coverage in the required areas. In future it would be much easier if planners considered coverage in hospitals during the design stage to include the wireless infrastructure.

“Carriers also need to take responsibility for this problem. After spending millions on outdoor networks they are still unable to provide consistent coverage in most buildings. If this problem is neglected, frustrated patients and relatives that are unable to contact one another are sure to consider switching their provider, and at this time of economic uncertainty, increased churn is something that carriers most definitely want to avoid.”