Home Lifestyle News The worst cities for mobile phone coverage

The worst cities for mobile phone coverage

by LLB Reporter
25th Apr 18 3:18 pm

According to a nationwide customer experience test

New research by Global Wireless Solutions provides a comprehensive analysis of nationwide customer experience test of mobile network performance. The results show which operators perform best in major cities and towns across the country, using GWS’ Reliability OneScore metric.

Key findings included:

  • O2 is the best performing network operator across the UK coming top in 17 towns and cities, while Vodafone ranks as the worst
  • Poor signal has driven half a million UK millennials to throw their phones in anger
  • When asked to consider the 5 most important criteria in selecting an operator, UK consumers are twice as likely to choose reliability instead of network speed
  • The top three situations that frustrate users the most when they lose signal: while in a moving vehicle, when in an unfamiliar city or when trying to meet up with friends and family

Through the consumer survey and focus groups that were conducted by YouGov on behalf of GWS, it was found that losing mobile network signal makes Brits very angry. 18% of UK smartphone owners swear when their phone has no signal, 28% sigh out of frustration, and 28% of people give up on their phone all together if they can’t make a call or use the internet. 18-34 year-olds get the most riled up as the survey suggests that over half a million have thrown their phone in anger when they lose connectivity. The research also found the top three situations that frustrate users the most when they lose signal: while in a moving vehicle, when in an unfamiliar city or when trying to meet up with friends and family.

The results of the mobile network testing, the data for which was captured using both Android and iOS devices (something only GWS has done), found that the major cities with the most dropped and blocked calls were London, Leeds and Birmingham. By combining voice and mobile internet network performance with customer satisfaction results, GWS has created a one-of-a-kind Reliability OneScore which accurately reflects how consumers use and perceive network performance.  The results reveal that O2 ranks highest in the most locations tested including Liverpool, Newcastle, Reading and Swansea. Three is ranked as the most reliable network in London, and EE in Manchester (see Fig 1 for full results).

In terms of where consumers struggle the most when connecting to their mobile network, GWS’ research found that 25% reported issues on trains, 22% struggle at home, 18% struggle in shopping centres and 13% have issues at work. The most common network problems encountered by consumers include text messages not sending (28%), websites or apps not loading (35%), calls not connecting (22%), and calls dropping mid-call (20%).

When asked to consider the 5 most important criteria in selecting an operator, UK consumers are twice as likely to choose reliability instead of network speed. Similarly, the most important phone functions for UK adults are making calls (69%), texting (53%) and browsing the internet (43%), while only 3% of UK adults listed watching videos as a top priority. Overall when looking at how operators fared in the consumer survey, O2 had the highest percentage of ‘very satisfied’ satisfaction ratings.

Dr. Paul Carter, CEO of GWS commented: “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.”

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