Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Summer visitors could be left frustrated by poor mobile coverage along coast

10:00 23 May 2014

Let's get connected

Let's get connected

Archant

Poor mobile phone coverage is still blighting many towns and villages in Suffolk despite assurances from operators last year that they would tackle the issue.

Business and personal phone users have become increasingly frustrated by mobile “not-spots” in the county - particularly east Suffolk, and even in well-populated areas.

But eight months after we launched the Lets Get Connected campaign to raise awareness of the issue - which has secured the support of thousands of readers - the problems remain.

And as the height of the summer season approaches for the Suffolk tourist industry, the region’s tourist boss warned yesterday that visits could be soured by the lack of coverage.

Keith Brown, from Visit East Anglia, did not believe poor coverage would necessarily be a “deal breaker” – but was worried visitors could be frustrated by being out of touch.

He said: “The thing is, most people won’t realise there’s a problem with mobile coverage until they arrive in the area and find they get no signal.

“These days it’s very important to be connected – people use their smart phones or other devices to check on what to visit or to get other information.”

He said East Anglia was not unique in this – other tourist areas in the country suffered similar problems with mobile coverage.

However despite claims of investment in the network, mobile phone users say there has been no discernible improvement in reception since last summer.

Annette Mason-Gordon of Best of Suffolk – which is based at Badingham and rents holiday homes across the area – said there had been no improvement in mobile signals on the heritage coast since last September, which was a frustration for many visitors.

She said: “It’s all right for local people because they know which network provides a reasonable service, but it is not good for visitors who come here and expect to be able to stay in touch.”

We heard the same story from other people who live in or visit the area regularly.”

The area is expecting an even bigger influx of visitors this year, encouraged by the arrival of the BBC Springwatch team at the Minsmere nature reserve.

The country’s largest mobile operator Vodafone suffers from a number of blackspots along the coastal strip from Southwold to Bawdsey.

A spokeswoman said the company was continuing to invest in its network – but there were problems in bringing signals to rural areas.

She said: “There have been objections to mobile phone masts in some areas, and it is quite a challenge to get signals to some areas without interfering with other signals.”

The company’s network was continuing to be enhanced, and it hoped to improve coverage in rural areas at some point, she added.

One issue that is due to improve over the next few months is tackling the total not-spots in the county where no mobile signals at all exist.

The government is helping to fund new masts for these areas, and all have to be commissioned by the end of this year.

These not-spots are: Shottisham and Sudbourne in Suffolk Coastal; Holbrook in Babergh; Wordwell, Barningham, Hartest, and Highwell Green in West Suffolk as well as the route of the A143 road from Great Yarmouth to Haverhill.

Mobile companies are continuing to roll out 4G networks in large towns and cities – and EE (the network formed by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile) is introducing a 4G device that can turn a car into a mobile wi-fi hotspot, but that is cold comfort to those living in, or visiting, rural areas who continue to find they have no 3G, or even 2G, signal.

To support our campaign for better mobile phone coverage, visit www.eadt.co.uk/news/campaigns/lets-get-connected

2 comments

  • Iam on holiday God it must be the end of the world ! I can't get my phone to work.

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Monday, May 26, 2014

  • Instead of worrying about something that MAY irritate visitors, how about writing about something that WILL irritate them. I suggest starting with complicated and outrageous train fares.

    Report this comment

    Blackeye

    Saturday, May 24, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

RAF Honington - Barnham Camp.

A 62-year-old motorcyclist who died at the scene of a two vehicle collision near RAF Barnham on Thursday has been named as Peter Hancock from Sudbury.

Made in Dagenham's Daniella Bowen and cast. Photo: Mark Sepple

It’s been nearly 50 years since women workers at Ford’s Dagenham plant went on strike for equal rights, writes Wayne Savage.

Do you know this man? Police have released an e-fit image following a burglary in Braintree

Police have released an e-fit image of a man they want to speak to in connection to a burglary in Braintree.

Ipswich Crown Court

A father stabbed by his son more than 30 times during a row about a printer has asked a court for a restraining order banning all contact between them to be reinstated.

Fire Service Stock Pictures

A fire engine from Ipswich’s Princes Street station was called to extinguish a fire in a pile of rubbish this morning.

People in Earl Soham are concerned about the erosion of their village green.

It is the proud centrepiece of many an English village - but in one Suffolk community it is disappearing by the day.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service image.

Firefighters were called earlier this morning to a gas cooker fire at The Anchor pub, Walberswick.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24