Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Poor 3G coverage is hitting businesses and deterring trade

19:16 27 September 2012

Using a smart phone poses problems in parts of Suffolk

Using a smart phone poses problems in parts of Suffolk

Archant

POOR internet availability for mobile phones is hitting businesses and deterring investors from moving to Suffolk, it has been claimed.

shares

Figures from Ofcom reveal Suffolk is among the worst areas in the country for third generation (3G) services, with less than a quarter of the county able to get a connection.

It comes as Orange and T-Mobile owner Everything Everywhere – recently renamed EE – unveiled plans this month to launch the UK’s first super-fast fourth generation (4G) products.

But it is unlikely such coverage, which promises to improve internet speeds, will be extended to Suffolk until 2014, with other mobile operators given until 2017.

Chris Soule, chairman of Suffolk Federation of Small Businesses, said: “It’s a huge problem – lots of businesses are using tablets and smartphones simply because they make mobile offices so much easier.

“But if you can’t get a 3G connection it’s an absolute nightmare.

“They are disrupting business in Suffolk. If I’m going from Eye across county towards Framlingham and from there to the coast there are huge blackspots.

“If you’re with a customer and you want to download an example of product you can’t do it.

“It’s holding back investment in Suffolk, you might as well stay in Essex. But we want businesses to come to Suffolk.”

Wil Gibson, of rural charity Suffolk ACRE, said: “If you speak to the mobile companies they will say they have good coverage but people are saying the phone coverage is very patchy. That is the same for internet connections and 3G services.

“If you’re going to use that for your broadband connections that’s going to create issues. It’s something that needs addressing alongside the development of the broadband proposal for Suffolk. If you’re going to be comparing the phone providers with a broadband provider you have to be sure the technology will give you that coverage and with the phone system as it is at the moment that’s not always the case.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “The county council recognises that 3G coverage in Suffolk is not sufficient to meet the needs of residents who demand more on the move. From our engagement with local parish and community groups, we know that this is a particular issue in the rural areas of the county, where much of the countryside has no indoor mobile phone coverage at all, let alone 3G coverage.”

A spokesman for EE said: “EE is investing millions of pounds over the next three years so that we can deliver on our ambition to provide the UK’s most reliable, biggest and best mobile network. On completion of this work, our network will offer an improved 2G and 3G service, as well as being 4G-ready.”

Mobile operators O2 and Vodafone were asked to comment but failed to respond.

Have you been affected? Tell us about the service in your area.

shares

1 comment

  • I think we need to concentrate on mobile coverage before we start worrying about 3G4G. How come entire Towns in suffolk (Aldeburgh for instance) have no Vodafone coverage?? That's a business killer... 3G is nice to have and invariably most places of business, cafes etc have wireless hotspots now. I would love to know the split on 3G enabled v wifi ipads. I can't see the 3G issue holding back business as any salesman worth his salt will have his sales stuff with him and most decent business applications will have some sort of "off-line" mode built specifically for eventuality of been off line. For everyday use GPRS is fine as it allows you to download emails to your smartphone on the move without sucking the life out of your battery.

    Report this comment

    jakeb

    Sunday, September 30, 2012

Essex fire crews attended

Firefighters in Essex have been called to a blaze at an art warehouse in Colchester this evening.

London Road North in Lowestoft has been cordoned off by emergency services.

Emergency services have descended on the centre of Lowestoft following an incident this afternoon.

Shotley wins Village of the Year.

Shotley has been announced the winner of the annual Suffolk Village of the Year competition.

Firefighters attended the incident

Emergency services were called to a crash on the A14 near Coddenham this afternoon.

It won't be the real thing, sadly, but there is an Abba tribute in Colchester this weekend

Brave the September weather this weekend and treat family and friends to a day out in East Anglia. Unsure where to go? Here are 10 events you shouldn’t miss:

The scene of a fire at Exning Primary School. Headteacher, James Clark.

Two members of the public tried to stop the blaze at Exning Primary School before the fire brigade arrived.

Ronald Chisnall

An 89-year-old widower who sexually assaulted two schoolgirls at his Ipswich home has been jailed for 34 months.

Fire crews at the scene of a fire behind the former Burton's factory in Ipswich Waterfront

Firefighters have been called to a fire at the former Burtons factory on Ipswich Waterfront.

Jonathan Dotchin, Kezi Mellen UCS LGBT+ society with Valerie Jarvis of Theta Cafe with some of the items collected for Calais refugees.

Members of a university Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) society have launched a collection for refugees in Calais.

The A14

Emergency teams worked to release a man trapped in his car after it overturned on the A14.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages