6/20/2005

Cashing in

I see from RTÉ that talks are being held to attempt to deal with the issue of roaming mobile phones in border areas. This is quite an important issue for many people. The problem atrises as there are various parts of the north, including most of south Armagh where the only mobile phone signal is often a southern one. The opposite problem occurs in places like Clones in Co. Monaghan. While this may seem like a trivial concern, if a call is answered when a phone is "internationally roaming" it can cost both the person who made the call and the person who received it several pounds even though they may not have realised that the phone was receiving the "wrong" signal. Also, due the lack of signal for northern phones in parts of south Armagh and other border regions, many people have to purchase both a northern and southern phone, espicially if they live or work in places like Newry or Belfast during the week. Given the cost of mobiles phones these day, that is hardly an inconsiderable expense.

In my opinion, tariffs should be introduced on an All Ireland basis. It makes no sense that my mobile phone should be rendered useless simply because I head a few miles over the border to watch a football match or go about my business. Mobile phone companies are using the border to make a fortune and fleece their customers and some one should step in to stop this farcical situation.

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