While acknowledging that a number of their customers in the north Cork area have had a ‘poor experience’ with mobile phone coverage, Vodafone say they comply with and exceed all the coverage obligations set out by the Commission for Communication Regulatation (ComReg) in their licences.

The company were responding to a motion made by Cllr Frank O’Flynn at a previous Northern Committee meeting of Cork County Council, who requested an explanation from the various mobile providers across the country regarding the poor mobile coverage across north Cork.

Vodafone also point to ‘protests to masts’ and ‘planning experiences’ as factors that have inhibited them from improving network coverage in the area.

In a letter written to Cork County Council by Gary Healy, head of external affairs & regulation in Vodafone Ireland, the company cite ‘historical problems with geography’ as the reason for coverage issues in the north Cork area. They also state they are ‘committed to improving our service where we can’.

Vodafone state that in north county Cork, 4G is available to 98.74 per cent of the population, while 3G is available to 99.75 per cent of people. While the figures drop somewhat for indoor coverage, 4G is still available to 91.22 per cent of the population while indoors, with the figure rising to 97.78 per cent for 3G indoors.

Mr Healy added: “We are aware of the cost of network rollout particularly in rural areas and we would note the planning experiences we have had in north Cork. We have encountered protests to masts being located in parts of the area and although we respect citizens’ rights to protest and not have masts in their immediate areas, we are also aware that masts will improve coverage and we need to ensure that we have local support before going down the road of planning.”