/ Technology

Your view: calling for better mobile signal

Our debate about bad mobile phone coverage got a good reception (stop groaning at my pun!) this week. Read how Wavechange helped Lee Beaumont stop leaning out of his window just to get a good signal.

Lee Beaumont shared that he’s not having a good time with his mobile:

‘In my home I get no signal at all apart from my bedroom window, so I keep my mobile on the window sill and when I need to make a call, or when someone calls me I stand on the sill and pop my head out of the window. I must look like a right fool to people walking down my street. But I don’t moan about it, after all I get such a good deal – something needed to give and it was the signal.’

Wavechange shared this advice:

‘As far as I am aware, mobile phone companies are sympathetic to those who struggle to make and receive calls from home.

Signal boosters are available for home users who have problems in their home. They are not cheap but some users have managed to acquire one free of charge. I know you like challenges, Lee, so perhaps try and get hold of one at no cost.’

Just three hours later and Lee was back with this update:

‘I have been contacted by Three via Twitter and they are sending me one of those booster box things that will connect to the internet.

‘My friend who lives next door is also on Three so the box will be connected to his internet and will help both me and him. Thanks Three… and Which? for posting this story.’

Should networks work together?

And thanks to Wavechange! We’re continuing the Wavechange love in by awarding him our Comment of the Week for his musings on whether there’s another way to ensure better mobile coverage:

‘If a customer withdraws money from a ‘free’ ATM, they don’t need to go to one operated by their own bank. From the customers’ point of view this works very well and the banks deserve praise for giving us a service that is very useful. Perhaps banks reimburse each other where customers use an ATM managed by another bank, but as a customer, I don’t need to know.

‘As a mobile phone and mobile broadband user, I want a connection and I don’t care how it happens. It is to the benefit of all consumers for the networks to work together. We know that it is technically possible because networks have been shared for emergency calls for the past five years.’

What do you think about Wavechange’s suggestion?


I have been looking at Vodafone’s coverage map for a village that I visit weekly except in the winter months. When I saw that 4G coverage is available, at least outdoors, I assumed that a new transmitter had been erected.

I checked yesterday and found that it is still difficult to get a reliable connection to make a phone call, which has been the case for years.

It would be better if the mobile service providers would underestimate rather than overestimate coverage.

Frustrated says:
29 May 2014

Since EE and Orange merged their businesses and ‘rationalised’ their masts the signal in my village has gone from good with Orange to abysmal with EE, so much so that my contract is worthless to me and I need to transfer to another provider. Any help and advice to get through the faceless and customer unfriendly system to cancel my contract at no penalty to me since I am not getting the service I used to get.

Don’t know whether it will work with EE however in the days when I was with Orange and they failed to hold up their end of the contract with me I obtained their ‘service address’, the registered office which can be found on the free ‘Webcheck’ service of Companies House.

I served on them by recorded delivery a letter describing how they were in breach of their contract in that they had failed to provide a ‘reasonable’ service that they had provided before and giving them 14 days to remedy the breach and to tell me what they were doing otherwise I would cease payment.

I sent that Private and Personal to the Company Secretary at the service address (I think for Orange it was Hatfield . . . ). One week later I received a letter and a phone call and eventually the matter was resolved.

If you take these kinds of steps to prove that you clearly stated your case and gave opportunity for redress you will find it easy then to defend yourself against their attempting to screw you for money after you stop paying. Indeed, you may even find that they harass you in which case the boot is on the other foot and you can go for them.

It really is time that Which published a simple guide to the steps to take to demand our rights and our services under contract. It is not difficult to discover the basic information necessary to cut through the obfuscation and defences of these outfits. I no longer bother with ‘customer care’ and letters to the CEO, I just serve my demand on the Company Secretary which alerts them to the fact that I will have a stronger case should the matter go to court.

I have been with 02 for years but was finding reception getting worse and worse so decided to try ee.
Absolutely awful so I am now with vodaphone which is a slight improvement on O2.
These companies are not providing a good enough service. The signal constantly drops out whilst on the move.
I believe the only way forward is for the government to force the providers to share mast to boost coverage

If companies our forced to share their networks what incentive is there to install new masts or micro cells.
In some of the remoter areas it probably isnt cost effective for all 4 networks to install masts etc.

So how do you get coverage in rural areas for all networks ?
It isnt a problem if you are a resident and dont travel far – just go with the company with the best signal.
But many rural areas get a lot of travellers/tourists who wont have the right SIM card unless they are from abroad and roaming !!

Since Orange and EE and BT merged it is rumoured that the transmitter on Garth Hill, Knighton, Powys has been decommissioned. Orange always provided the best coverage here – small town in the hills; no problems until this year. Now no signal at all, indoors or out. No signal even when in sight of the mast. I can pick up a weak one if I walk half a mile south, up a hill! Other people say that O2 is no better.
I’ve reported to the Orange technical team many times – no helpful comments from them.
As well as local residents needing reception this is a tourist area for walkers out on the hills, sometimes remote – they need to be able to contact services, especially in an emergency.
Has anyone any ideas about what we can we do to improve the situation?
thank you, LS