Mobile phone signals still too unreliable for most East Anglia users

Is mobile phone coverage improving?

Is mobile phone coverage improving? - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

More than 500 people have so far taken part in our survey on mobile phone coverage in the region – and the majority of those who contacted us say they are not satisfied with the reception they get.

On a scale of one to ten, 55% of users gave their 4G coverage a single mark while 53% of users gave their 3G coverage one or two marks out of ten. Almost 87% of people who responded said they have had problems with mobile coverage in the past.

It is not just the “notspots” that leave phone users frustrated – many are also irritated by the unreliability of services.

One person said: “I work in Nacton village and as soon as I drive in the village I lose signal. When I am in the office at Camilla Court I have no mobile signal at all so have to rely on watzap and iMessage on the Wi-fi. Should anyone need to call my mobile in an emergency, no chance.”

Another person said: “People always phone the mobile and leave messages but I’m unable to pick them up until we go out then people think your not answering them. I now say I don’t have a mobile!”

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One user has had to go back to a more basic technology because of frustration with the phones: “I have changed back from smartphone to more basic handset which prioritises 2G as no 3G or 4G here. So I can make calls now, but can’t get e-mails or internet on phone.”

Mobile companies say they are investing more on improving their services.

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A spokesman for EE, which is the most popular network among people who responded to our survey with 28% of customers, said: “We already offer the widest mobile coverage in East Anglia, but it isn’t as good as it needs to be and that’s why we’re continuing to invest in upgrading existing sites and building new ones.”

Vodafone, the second most popular network among those who filled in the survey, is also investing. A spokeswoman said: “We remain committed to improving the network, having invested more than £2 billion on our network and services across the UK since 2014 with another £2 billion planned over the next few years.”

Mobile firms have been given until the end of the year to extend mobile coverage to 90% of the UK mainland – but not necessarily indoors, and O2 has to be able to reach 98% of British properties by the same time.

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