North East Wales

Henllan Bakery drivers use app to show mobile 'not-spots'

Mobile phones in a rural landscape

Bakery delivery drivers in Denbighshire are helping to improve the area's mobile phone coverage by flagging up so-called "not spots".

Staff at Denbigh's Henllan Bakery have downloaded an app which assesses mobile signal quality to identify areas with poor coverage.

The app for Android phones by Ofcom then automatically reports the information back to the regulator.

So far, it has identified signal issues around Chirk and Oswestry.

The app works by automatically measuring voice-call reliability, signal strength and data speeds without the user having to do anything and without any personal data being collected.

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Media captionElinor Williams of Ofcom tells Wales Today's Matthew Richards the app provides "invaluable" data.

Ed Moore, a director at the bakery, said: "We need to be able to reach our delivery staff wherever they are and a lack of reception can make this impossible.

"The situation seems particularly bad towards the Chirk and Oswestry area but there are 'not spots' scattered around everywhere. It isn't just in rural areas."

Denbighshire council has been working with mobile operators to improve signal quality in the county and said more data would help it make the case for improved infrastructure.

Council leader Hugh Evans said the council was aware of the frustration felt by people when they cannot get a good signal and said Ofcom had made a "positive move by exploiting technology which most of [us] carry around all the time".

The council is now asking staff to download the app, claiming that with 700 employee handsets, it was in a "strong position" to help gather the data needed.

Ofcom said publication of data collected by the app would encourage mobile network operators to improve their networks.

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