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29 million mobile users suffer signal problems at home

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Written by: Emma Lunn
10/03/2021
More than half of mobile users — 29 million people — have issues with their mobile network where they live.

According to a survey by Uswitch.com, more than a quarter (27%) of people report having to move to another room because of poor mobile reception, while almost one in five (19%) use a messaging service like WhatsApp or iMessage on wi-fi instead.

One in seven (14%) simply leave the house in a bid to get a better signal.

When mobile users asked their provider for help with reception issues, more than a third (37%) were recommended to make calls over their wi-fi instead. But, although nearly two fifths (39%) of mobile users regularly use Wi-Fi Calling, more than a third (35%) of consumers don’t know what it is.

Reception issues are worst in semi-detached houses, with nearly one in three (30%) residents enduring a substandard signal.

People who have extended their property are more than twice as likely (63%) to suffer constant problems with their mobile reception as those who have not (31%). Two in five (41%) of those with loft extensions also complained that calls dropped out regularly.

Rural areas suffer the biggest issues with mobile reception, and are almost 50% more likely than residents in suburban regions to face failed calls.

More than four in 10 residents (40%) living in the countryside complain of dropped calls, which falls to a third (33%) for urban areas and a quarter (27%) for suburban regions.

Residents in London, Edinburgh and Belfast are most likely to endure failed calls due to signal issues (18%).

Uswitch is urging consumers to check the network coverage in their area before choosing a supplier, and consult providers’ coverage maps to make an informed choice.

Ru Bhikha, telecoms expert at Uswitch said: “There’s nothing more frustrating than having to march around your home in a vain bid to get a decent signal, but it’s a struggle experienced by 30 million of us.

“The digital divide stubbornly persists, with residents in rural areas almost 50% more likely to suffer dropped calls than those in suburban areas.

“If you’re having problems getting a good signal through your mobile reception, your best bet could be making calls over wi-fi instead. It’s easy to do, but you’ll need to check whether it’s supported by your mobile provider.

“The mobile reception in your home will be determined by a huge number of factors including the coverage in your area, the thickness of your walls and the presence of materials that can block the signal.

“However, the quickest way of ensuring you have the strongest mobile reception possible is to check network coverage maps before you sign up with a provider. It takes only five minutes and could help you find which network has the best signal in your area.”

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