POOR phone reception and a "digital divide" in rural areas of north Wales has prompted MPs to hold talks with mobile giants to lobby for further network improvements.

Mobile phone chiefs were invited to a Westminster summit on Tuesday by Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts and Arfon MP Hywel Williams who are lobbying for further network improvements.

The Plaid Cymru politicians hosted talks with Vodafone, EE, 02 BT and Three to push for further improvements to mobile coverage and data services in their constituencies and called for the roll-out of new 5G technology to help boost business.

Liz Saville Roberts MP said: "The roll-out of 5G technology could be a game-changer for rural areas such as Dwyfor Meirionnydd. Businesses in particular require the best possible conditions to establish and develop, and that includes access to the latest mobile data technology.

"I would therefore urge all mobile providers to learn from mistakes made during the roll-out of 2G, 3G and 4G and prioritise investment in rural, hard-to-reach communities which are at a historic disadvantage when it comes to mobile connectivity.

"Irrespective of their location, it is important that those who rely on mobile connectivity receive the same quality of mobile services. There is currently not nearly enough attention given to digital inclusion for the whole of the UK.

"This digital divide has the potential to leave the UK’s rural communities high and dry which will inevitably have a knock-on effect on regional economies.

"Whilst everyone focuses on new 5G technology, many communities in Dwyfor Meirionnydd are still unable to access adequate 4G coverage which means rural and remote areas are suffering, resulting in significant inequality for both business and everyday life."

Hywel Williams MP said: "Despite improvements in mobile coverage, it’s clear some areas of Arfon face weak or unreliable mobile signal, particularly in rural parts of the constituency.

"Businesses and individuals across the constituency want a better service and a better deal from their mobile provider. This includes tourism businesses, to run their online advertising, booking and payment systems whilst tourists themselves expect a first class mobile service at the places they stay.

"If people are trying to run a business in a rural area, clearly having 3G, 4G and now 5G is something that will be increasingly important. If people are paying for a service then they should get it.

"The availability of the latest mobile technology is of particular concern to local businesses in my constituency, which depend on a fast, reliable mobile phone connection to operate effectively.

"With businesses becoming more reliant on the internet’s immediacy and speed, their customers expect the same service in return. They will question why rural, hard-to-reach areas are always the last to benefit from the latest in mobile technology.

"Mobile phone and broadband coverage should not be a postcode lottery. Plaid Cymru has long-argued for a universal service obligation (USO), which would deliver a fast, reliable service regardless of a household’s address."