Recent research by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) shown which UK cities rank best and worst for mobile phone signal coverage.
According to the study O2 had the most reliable networks with Vodafone being the worst performer. The news has come at an especially bad time for Vodafone, who were recently voted the worst mobile phone provider in the country according to a separate Which? Survey for the seventh year in a row.
GWS’ signal tests were conducted using both iOS and android operating systems and were undertaken in 32 cities around the country. O2 was found to have the most reliable network in 17 out of the 31 locations, three was the most consistent performer in 12 locations and EE only triumphing in three locations. Some of the biggest cities in the UK fared the worst with London, Birmingham and Leeds shown to have the worst phone signal in the country.
As well as carrying out signal tests, GWS also aimed to uncover what customers value most and what their annoyances are when it comes to mobile phone operators and networks. According to the study, customers’ biggest peeve was losing signal or connectivity when in an unfamiliar place and trying to get hold of friends or family. The research also shed light on the level of anger poor connectivity causes in many people with around half a million millennials said to have thrown their phone in rage at least once.
When respondents were asked what they look for in a phone carrier, consumers were twice as likely to pick reliable over high speed connections. When quizzed about what five factors are the most important when choosing a contract, 69% said making calls, 53% said texting, 43% chose browsing the web with only 3% rating watching videos.
“There is too much focus on ranking operators by data speed versus other key network performance aspects such as reliability and customer satisfaction. The message we received loud and clear is that consumers want to know which network they can rely on to keep them connected to friends and family or to provide access to content,” said GWS chief executive Paul Carter.
“Our testing showed that all operators currently provide mobile internet quick enough to stream a video from Netflix, but the real issue is which network will let you call, text and browse the internet most reliably.”
The research also showed that the most common issues found by phone users were apps not working, calls dropping out and text messages not sending.
“Consumers have told us that the persistent issue of mobile signal not-spots around the country is clearly infuriating them. Our testing shows that local authorities in big cities like London and Birmingham need to work more closely with network operators to ensure network coverage is not being held back by red tape,” added Mr Carter.