back to article Crap mobile coverage costs UK biz £30m a week, reckons survey

Indoor mobile coverage is pants, says ip.access, a company which makes kit to improve indoor coverage. To quantify just how pants it is the Cambridge-based company commissioned a poll from survey outfit OnePoll. They carried out research in the form of an online survey, and then did some sums to come up with the claim, “UK …

  1. Mayhem


    They can do as much research as they like - unless someone manages to force a change through OFCOM, mobile repeaters are illegal in the UK except when provided by the mobile operators. Broad spectrum repeaters are completely banned.

    Unless one happens to be the Olympics, which is the only instance of mast and network sharing between operators I can think of in recent history.

    The Vodafone Suresignals are crap, as are most of the other equivalents unless one only needs to cover a small office of half a dozen employees. You can't easily use more than one nearby, because they don't hand calls between each other, so if you walk into stronger signal range of the next unit, your active call will drop.

    We also looked into the serious commercial offerings from the operators - at an average of £5000 per year per access point, and the average building floor needing 6, it gets real expensive real fast. Fine if you happen to be backed by Arab oil wealth, for the rest of us though, not so much.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <X> costs biz £<Y>m a week

    I see a lot of these reports: sickness, paperwork, internet, facebook, obesity etc. My gut feeling is they cant all be right as the sum would be staggering...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: <X> costs biz £<Y>m a week

      "My gut feeling is they cant all be right as the sum would be staggering..."

      I did a quick count on the claimed cost of a range of problems, and selecting the highest number from a supposedly credible source says that just obesity, air pollution, violent crime, fraud, road accidents, dementia and mental health collectively have a cost (circa £470bn) or around one third of UK GDP. Include "costs" of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse and you can add another £50bn.

      So, if we round up all the fat, violent, flatulent, reckless-driving demented fraudsters and drown them, then every household in the land will be better off by £30k a year.

  3. AndrueC Silver badge

    Reception was okay for me until EE merged. Now reception inside my house is more than a bit dodgy. Do I live in the arse-end of nowhere? No. I live in a small town on the A43 about five minutes from the M40.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Do I live in the arse-end of nowhere? YES. I live in a small town on the A43 about five minutes from the M40."


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    O2 Boost Boxes

    O2 do multiple versions of their boost boxes:

    - Small. Intended for domestic usage. Max 4 concurrent calls, mobile numbers must be pre-registered.

    - Large. Intended for commercial usage. Max 8 concurrent calls, supports PoE. Initially, numbers must be pre-registered, but an email to O2 will get them to switch it to open mode so any O2 mobile can use it.

    - Metro. Intended for commercial usage. Max 32 concurrent calls. Only supports PoE and can only be installed by O2. I believe these are open by default.

    - I believe they do even larger sizes, but details on those is "by request".

    Normally, these boxes don't support hand-off between adjacent boxes. If you get O2 to come out, they'll do a survey and configure the boxes into a mini-network so calls can hand-off between them.

    They all support hand-off from boost box to macro network, but not the reverse (Macro network to boost box)

    I have no idea about Vodafone, EE or 3 offerings.

    1. dogged

      Re: O2 Boost Boxes

      O2 won't supply domestic femtocells anymore. They insist you use their half-baked shitty semi-functional "TU Go" app.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: O2 Boost Boxes

        O2 won't supply domestic femtocells anymore. They insist you use their half-baked shitty semi-functional "TU Go" app.

        I'm a corporate and TuGu isn't available to us, so that's probably why we can still get them.

  5. The Mole

    Three take the alternative approach of providing an app for the phone which seamlessly hands phone and sms off over a wifi connection instead. So if the office (or house) already have wifi that the phone can use you are sorted, ditto for hotels offering free wifi (and who wants to stay in one that still try to charge through the nose for wifi?).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Orange used to provide something comparable to Suresignal a few years ago, but without a box needing to be supplied (USM?). Worked via wifi, and while call quality could get a bit crunchy, it worked well, needed no config other than Orange specific firmware (on a blackberry in my case) and it was free.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      No, UMA - unlicensed mobile access IIRC. I agree that is a better option than fenticells for most domestic users, but EE no longer support UMA, and most operators' alternatives now are crappy VOIP over wifi apps that don't work at all well.

      1. dogged

        most operators' alternatives now are crappy VOIP over wifi apps that don't work at all well


  7. Roland6 Silver badge

    Business, femtocell offerings have been available (in the UK) for a number of years, only not from the major high street operators. Interestingly, I suspect this is an area that BT will exploit once the takeover of EE is approved.

    But then given the average office is these days flooded with WiFi there is mileage in letting in-office comm's use the WiFi and be routed differently on exit from the building, but this doesn't play well with those who wish to see wall-to-wall LTE.

  8. armyknife


    Poorly fitting socks cost UK industry £127.53 million a year.

  9. Dr Scrum Master

    What Poor Coverage?

    Come to Singapore where good in-building mobile coverage is mandated by the Government.

  10. Vince

    The odd thing is that we can fix this in software - and had already done it - as someone else pointed out - they had UMA - which meant that I could get back to my mobile network provider via another connection, such as that rarely seen thing called Wi-Fi. Of course this was the sort of feature found on proper devices like Blackberries, and since it was straightforward, just worked and required no major ballache, it has been binned.

    Because whizz bang "apps" are the order of the day and have been used to replace sanity. Applications that worked just fine are now "apps" and don't work well, have loads of missing functionality and aren't at all smooth.

    And now we're papering over those cracks with more silly ideas.

    We could instead have just used the technology that was already developed and was doing a damn good job.

  11. Joc

    £30m - pah, thats nothing compared to the billions in lost productivity in areas with good reception if the number of lazy ****** in my office with their faces stuck in their phone all day is anything to go by.

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