Mobile coverage

Thursday 22nd August, 2013 By
Mobile coverage

The big mobile networks cover 99% of the UK, but how can you be sure you’ll get good reception where you are? Here we explain how to check mobile coverage where you live and how to deal with any problems with signal...

In this guide:

Check a provider's coverage
Problems with mobile coverage
How to complain about your mobile coverage

The quality of your mobile signal is dependent on where you are and which network you're with. Fortunately, each of the big mobile networks offers a postcode checker. So it's easy to find out how good the service will be in your area.

Check a provider's coverage

When you're looking into coverage, remember to check the places you visit most regularly, as well as your home. It's not much use having good signal at home but nothing when you're at work.

Bear in mind the mobile checkers are generally pretty reliable, but they're not 100%. There's no guarantee you'll be able to get a signal on your phone - this is most likely deep in the countryside or if there is something blocking the signal, such as large trees, tall buildings, or if you're in a basement.

Woman using phone in taxi

Problems with mobile coverage

Mobile networks collectively cover the majority of the UK, but they don't reach everywhere. You may find that you struggle to get a decent signal - even in urban areas where you'd expect reception to be perfect.

That's because a lot of factors affect your signal. You may be too far away from a mast, or geographical features like buildings or mountains, for example, might be blocking the signal. Weather can affect your mobile coverage too.

How to complain about your mobile coverage

You should always check coverage with a mobile phone company before you commit to that network. It's useful to test the quality of the phone signal at home and other places where you'll frequently use it when you begin your contract.

If you've found the signal is consistently failing, then in most cases, in the first two weeks, you should be able to sort something out with the company - but you may need keep on at them, as not all companies are great at handling complaints.

Contact your network's customer service department and explain you performed the postcode check, which indicated the signal would be good. Outline the problems you're having and ask them to take the phone back and cancel your contract.

If you're still experiencing problems after that, contact an ombudsman for support - either the Communications department of Ombudsman Services or CISAS.



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