back to article UK may not hit goal of 95% mobile coverage, commons committee warns

The UK's mobile networks are unlikely to hit the government target for 95 percent coverage of the country by December 2025, because the remaining locations will be increasingly harder and therefore costlier to reach. A report from House of Commons Public Accounts Committee says that to meet the 95 percent target, build-out …

  1. cyberdemon Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Should never have switched off 3G

    3G was so often the only usable network when out in the sticks, due to its much longer range compared with 4G and 5G..

    The argument is that smaller cells reduce contention and increase total throughput and of course that is true, but a fallback is still needed - and 3G won't ever be overloaded so long as it is only used as a fallback and 4G/5G is available in the most populated areas..

    But i guess there's no profit in maintaining such a fallback system, unless they could charge a fee for its use, which afaik they cannot. (And of course if they could charge for using 3G, there'd be an incentive to bork their own 4G/5G towers, so probably not a great idea either)

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Should never have switched off 3G

      Those who made the decision probably never go outside of the M25 -- so what is the problem ?

    2. John Sager

      Re: Should never have switched off 3G

      Yup. Vodafone coverage has gone to shit since they turned off 3G. Now when travelling I go from 4G to E on the signal display, and E means Eff Off as far as Internet is concerned!

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Should never have switched off 3G

      "But i guess there's no profit in maintaining such a fallback system"

      If the requirement* is to maintain it where there's no 4G coverage it doesn't matter whether there's specific profit in it or not, it just becomes part of the overall cost of doing business.

      * A requirement as in "you need to do this to retain your network licence".

    4. UnknownUnknown

      Re: Should never have switched off 3G

      Is this 5% by geographical land or population??

      Smells like the latter.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Should never have switched off 3G

        I think it's geographical.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Devon

    Its not just Scotland. Just back from a holiday in Devon. Got better mobile reception in the middle of the moors than in the small hamlet we were staying at. Zero signal. Means you got to keep fit as you had to run up a local hill to get a signal.

    Who'd have thought granite hills would be a problem for phones...

    These dumb targets are always made by someone sitting in the middle of a city. See also broadband.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Devon

      Its not just Scotland. Just back from a holiday in Devon. Got better mobile reception in the middle of the moors than in the small hamlet we were staying at. Zero signal. Means you got to keep fit as you had to run up a local hill to get a signal.

      You don't even have to get that remote. The signal around Brailles in Warwickshire is pretty dire. It's not great at my golf club either and that's only two miles from the Banbury and the M40. In that case it's probably due to terrain blocking the signal and likely depends on who your provider is.

      1. Like a badger

        Re: Devon

        And equally crap on many main rail routes, where the rail industry collectively approach mobile coverage with the same tenacity, inventiveness and commitment that they use to handle all problems (that is to say, none).

        Meanwhile, slow but steady, the creep of decent mobile coverage continues across the London Underground continues.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Devon

          See also industrial estates, another place with a population of 0, but where there are lots of people around.

          These coverage things are based on the assumption that everyone only uses their phone at home, the one place where you probably don't need it, because you have Wifi.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Devon

            "the one place where you probably don't need it, because you have Wifi"

            Until you have a power failure. You can always use POTS at home... except that's being turned off as well.

            1. Tron Silver badge

              Re: Devon

              POTS should be retained. It gives us resilience. They have cancelled the initial turn off dates, but some poor unfortunates have already lost it.

      2. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: Devon

        A few miles from Watford, Herts in the middle of suburban new build I can only get a signal indoors by hanging over the bathroom sink. For safety, there has to be a fallback but that's being ignored to the extent that an online form I had to complete recently for some service required a mobile number as the only option, rejecting any number not starting with 07.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Devon

          "in the middle of suburban new build"

          Is that part of the problem? Can't speak for your house, but many new build estates have houses very close together, with relatively small windows, low-e glazing and tons of foil backed plasterboard. All of which make for crap reception indoors.

    2. geoffbeaumont

      Re: Devon

      You really don't have to be in the sticks. Try between Preston and Blackburn, five minutes off the M6...in an area that officially has a "Very Good" mobile signal. Could be worse - SMS usually works, as does data albeit not that fast. But you need to be outside to make a call, and even then you may have trouble making yourself understood. If it rings at all... Which is a problem because the broadband isn't really good enough to support VOIP (worn out wires hung through trees - fibre only goes to the cabinet by the main road), lots of dropped packets mean very poor call quality. So when the old phone network is switched off next year we won't have a usable phone service.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Devon

        Don't worry yet, Openreach has delayed the switchoff by two years.

        On the other hand, our little hamlet with patchy mobile coverage and dodgy underground DPs meaning that even FTTC (which arrived in 2019 IIRC) can be a little hit-and-miss (I'm still on ADSL), which last time I checked - at the beginning of the year - didn't even have a date for FTTP installation, has seen a flurry of activity by Openreach engineers over the last month and suddenly it seems it's possible to order FTTP products. Bit pricey, but suddenly available when a few months ago there wasn't even a date range.

        M.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Devon

          "has seen a flurry of activity by Openreach engineers over the last month and suddenly it seems it's possible to order FTTP products. Bit pricey, but suddenly available when a few months ago there wasn't even a date range"

          When FTTP suddenly appeared without fanfare outside AC Towers, within a month or two there were some quite attractive offers from various ISPs, including some of the better, smaller ones like Aquiss. Admittedly cheaper still deals were available from the large players, but only with longer contracts, baked in annual price rises, and crap service. Might be worth keeping an eye on what sort of deals you can get, they don't all seem to recognise newly served addresses at the same time.

          1. UnknownUnknown

            Re: Devon

            We got a letter from Talk-Talk - an Openreach Infra reseller/user.

            Free upgrade to FTTP as part of 21CN.

            20/7Mbit —> 70/20Mbit and FAR more stable on FTTP, and no more money needed. Works fine. More speed would be desirable… But the bump from the free upgrade was more than enough for day to day usage.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Got better mobile reception in the middle of the moors ...

      So you have to hit a target for % geographic coverage ... what do you do? Stick a new mast in the middle of nowhere, giving a maximum increase in newly-covered geography, but arguably benefit almost nobody; or fill in a smallish notspot that gives you not much in the way of extra geography, but would make a difference to many people.

      Hmm, I wonder.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Got better mobile reception in the middle of the moors ...

        > So you have to hit a target for % geographic coverage

        That explains why it works great in the middle of the moors, but not in the valleys.

        Great for the sheep I guess

        1. UnknownUnknown

          Re: Got better mobile reception in the middle of the moors ...

          1 bar coverage ?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Got better mobile reception in the middle of the moors ...

            <Shakes head sadly at commentard>

            Shirley you meant "1 baaa coverage"?

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Got better mobile reception in the middle of the moors ...

        "or fill in a smallish notspot"

        One of the issues here is creating new notspots by switching off 3G.

    4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Devon

      And Somerset. Within 2 miles of Glastonbury Tor, there is a huge 'Not Spot'.

      I'm sure that there are many even within the M25.

      FSCK those who mandated the turning off of 3G. It should not have been done until there is 100% 4G.

      As for 5G????? I'll believe it when I see it. Around here, it is zero 5G and no plans for it this side of 2036. The NIMBY brigade has made sure of that. Gotta protect those kiddiwinkies.

      1. UnknownUnknown

        Re: Devon

        There is a huge not-spot a few more miles up the road too around Worthy Farm, though I think it’s temporal anomaly as it’s only on the last weekend every June.

        Druids too ? < shrug>

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Devon

        Then there are people like my friends who have newly acquired 5G whether they want it or not - and suddenly problems on their wifi.

        1. UnknownUnknown

          Re: Devon

          No 5G and WiFi problems here. No 5G though.

          5G - “limited coverage”, and nothing changes if you switch the Planned (3 months button).

          Vodafone. About 3 miles from the M6/M1 junction. Pretty flattish around here.

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    Sounds Ideal

    5% of the country won't have coverage, where are these places so I can live there?

    No means of cold callers to call me.

    No means of texts from Vodafone with their new offers.

    No means of my utilities provider to annoy me in to having a smart meter.

    No means of my wife calling me while I'm at the pub asking me where the fuck I am.

    I mean yeah I'm dead if there's a fire or I have a stroke, but for the sweet glorious non-life threatening moments it'd be wonderful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds Ideal

      "5% of the country won't have coverage, where are these places so I can live there?"

      Much of Wales, much of Scotland, plenty of Dartmoor and Exmoor, good stretches of Dorset, likewise Pennines and Cumbria. Surely there's somewhere in that list you could live?

      1. wolfetone Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Sounds Ideal

        I'm off to look at RIghtMove and I'll let you know!

      2. katrinab Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Sounds Ideal

        Also, Oxford City Centre.

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Sounds Ideal

        >plenty of Dartmoor and Exmoor

        Reception problem can generally be solved by climbing to the top of the nearest tor...

        I would have thought (being sensible) that the powers that be, would have identified areas - such as Dartmoor and Exmoor and much of Wales of Scotland (ie. "wilderness" national parks) where they had no intention of providing full geographic coverage. Then at least everyone would know where they stood.

        1. hoola Silver badge

          Re: Sounds Ideal

          Where I stay in Wales there is no phone reception, walk up Cader Idris and by the time you are on the ridge there is phone reception.

          The bad new is that the tee-shirt and flip flop lunatics think it is a simple stroll then when the inevitable happens just believe that having a phone on them solves everything.

    2. Jedit Silver badge
      Devil

      "No means of my wife calling me while I'm at the pub"

      You can get that in city centre Aberdeen. Ma Cameron's is a notorious blackspot.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "No means of my wife calling me while I'm at the pub"

        Don't make a tinfoil hat. Use it for parering the walls.

    3. devin3782

      Re: Sounds Ideal

      Derby(shire) has delightfully poor reception

  4. hitmouse

    Laughing in Australian

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Go on then, what's Australia's coverage by landmass?

      1. wolfetone Silver badge
        Trollface

        100%, as a didgeridoo can be quite loud.

      2. hitmouse

        UK population density is approximately 100x that of Australia. Even the remotest, most sparsely populated part of UK is still a short distance from a population centre.

        It is far far cheaper for UK to provide cost effective per capita coverage, and that doesn't even take it account UK having double Australia's GDP.

  5. Ol'Peculier

    On the Extended Area Service element of the program, the costs are said to have risen by an estimated £44 million (about $56 million) due to VAT and inflation alone

    VAT hasn't changed since about 2011, so that's rubbish .

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And other than certain niches, VAT is reclaimable by businesses as it's a consumer tax, so wouldn't affect the cost of building out the network. I suspect the PAC are parroting the lies told by the mobile networks.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Neither, the article is slightly misleading:

        "9. Both the Department and BDUK acknowledged that there have been significant cost challenges on the programme. On the Extended Area Service element of the programme, the Government’s costs have risen by an estimated £44 million due to irrecoverable VAT and inflation, while, on the Total Not Spot element, in late 2023, DMSL indicated that delivery of the planned number of sites and the increase in coverage required from this element was set to exceed the current level of associated government funding."

        [HoC PAC Report page 10-11.]

        Originally, the Extended Area Service was to be provided by:

        "The Home Office is making available up to 292 masts in remote parts of the UK that it is building as part of its Emergency Services Network programme, and will upgrade these masts so that the mobile network operators can then install the equipment they need to provide commercial 4G coverage."

        [HoC PAC Report page 4.]

        The proposal to address this cost increase is to reduce the number of masts to circa 170, which would satisfy the EAS coverage target (point 10 on page 11). Alternatively, the (next) government could provide more funds...

  6. Yoshi

    So what is the ESN meant to use when in these vast swathes of uncovered territory?

    1. Martin Summers

      Just don't have an emergency, and it'll be fine.

  7. Caver_Dave Silver badge
    Flame

    Lack of mobile coverage

    What annoys me the most is the two-Factor Authentication that seems to be required for so many things these days.

    Start a transaction on my desk top, run up the hill to get the SMS code, run back down the hill again, go to type it into the computer and it has timed out!

    (WiFi calling is just about OK, but WiFi SMS doesn't seem to work at all!)

    1. John Sager

      Re: Lack of mobile coverage

      That's dependent on phone make/model and network. My pixel on Vodafone does calls and SMS. My wife's pixel on O2 won't do SMS! Why isn't service over WiFi not standardised like it is over LTE?

      1. Munehaus

        Re: Lack of mobile coverage

        Wifi and 4G use the same IMS. The issue is many Android phones don't have the right support or profiles for SMS or on some networks even calling. Its generally not an issue for Iphones as they all share a single profile for each network.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Lack of mobile coverage

      Don't use SMS based OTP - it's far from secure.

      Use TOTP, which can be done on an offline app (so long as the real-time clock is vaguely accurate).

    3. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Lack of mobile coverage

      "Start a transaction on my desk top, run up the hill to get the SMS code, run back down the hill again, go to type it into the computer and it has timed out!"

      Perfect description of the idiocy now prevalent -- thanks!

      Recently, when applying for a contract online, the form timed out while I was writing my personal statement (in a word processor to ensure quality of text). I'd only taken about 10 minutes, but that was too long for the "system".

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Lack of mobile coverage

      A question is how far up the hill you have to, as potentially an outdoor WiFi AP directed up the hill might enable you to take a laptop with you; and assuming this is the UK, a pop up tent, so you can use both phone and laptop in “all weathers”…

  8. Big_Boomer

    Pretty simple to resolve

    If it's somewhere people regularly want to use their phones, then it should have adequate coverage. If it's the middle of the Cairngorms or Dartmoor and you want good mobile coverage, then I recommend a Satellite phone. Yes, they are expensive, but that's the cost of going to or living in the middle of nowhere and wanting mobile phone coverage.

    I can see a case for providing coverage in some remote areas for emergency use, but the masts need to be camouflaged effectively as otherwise they ruin the area. It is not difficult to camouflage antennas yet the providers make a big brouhahah about it because they don't want the expense. Towers don't have to be omnidirectional so could be low-rise on either side of a ridge and camouflaged to look like rocks or whatever the local background looks like.

    An area should never be forced to have a cell tower if the locals don't want it regardless of what some bureaucrat thinks. However, if the locals choose to not have the tower, then they need to shut the **** up about their crap coverage.

    As for those who don't want coverage,...... then why not switch your phone off? If fact, why do you even have a mobile phone?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pretty simple to resolve

      "If it's somewhere people regularly want to use their phones, then it should have adequate coverage."

      Nice idea ... but so far from the truth to be laughable !!!

      I live in a town that has 50k+ population, is close to 3 major motorways, and *yet* I cannot make a mobile call from *inside* my house.

      The mobile operator knows that the reception is crap but will not invest in a new/nearer cell tower.

      There are no major geographic reasons for the problem, just old tech that is not fit for purpose.

      According to the Mobile reception maps, it should *just* work but this is a fiction.

      :)

      1. Big_Boomer

        Re: Pretty simple to resolve

        I have the same problem in the middle of a 1000 house estate in a 25k population commuter town in crowded SE England, but only on O2 & Vodafone. My friends who have EE or 3 have good signal in my house, and yes I am considering moving to EE. The proliferation of devices is part of the problem (overcrowded cells), but so is the networks unwillingness to invest enough to provide adequate coverage.

        Many years ago I was with Voda and the local "tower" was on the roof of a nearby Primary School. Then someone decided to get parents worried about the "possible" effects of cellphone radiation on their kids and within 2 years almost all school cell towers had gone. In my case this left a hole in Voda's coverage. I complained to them about it and their answer to their poor coverage was to offer to sell me a microcell to use my personal broadband to make calls with. I told them that they had changed the coverage so they should give me the cell for free, which they decided not to do, so I left Voda and took my money elsewhere.

        These days WiFi calling is the norm, so you should be able to get a decent signal indoors if you have WiFi calling enabled. Most cellphones now support WiFi calling.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Pretty simple to resolve

          I have a friend whose "wifi is unreliable". What she actually means is because their house is on a very long line from the FTTC cabinet the feed to wifi is unreliable. Openreach is now offering FTTP to those of us living near the self same cabinet with perfectly adequate FTTC coverage from it. I am not in the least surprised by this as it was always clear that rolling out the latest shiny would take preference over good universal coverage.

    2. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

      Re: Pretty simple to resolve

      >>An area should never be forced to have a cell tower if the locals don't want it

      Those will be the same locals who complain, vociferously, about lack of coverage when they leave their mast free haven and visit somewhere else where the locals have objected...

      For a bit of reducto ad absurdiam try applying the same "locals shouldn't be forced" argument to larger, more intrusive, infrastructure... such as power stations, motorways, bypasses (A. Dent esq. excepted of course), Malls, Housing developments. At what point does the need to provide a national service outweigh tin foil milinery/pure NIMBYism?

      1. Big_Boomer

        Re: Pretty simple to resolve

        Most of those who don't want these frankly f***ing ugly masts (especially the new 5G ones) live in quite scenic areas, and if tourists don't like the lack of coverage, then they can go elsewhere. Those who object to them in towns and cities want the towers and the coverage, but they want the manufacturers of the towers to make them a bit less ugly. For some reason the manufacturers of the masts can get away with throwing up a scabby grey dildo wherever they like and the local planning departments are not allowed to object. If I submitted plans for a house that was as ugly as those 5G towers you can 100% guarantee that my neighbours and the local planners would object and it would be blocked, and so it should with phone masts.

        But in the middle of the Cairngorms or Dartmoor where there are very few locals and the addition of the tower ruins the scenery, then the networks should be forced to camouflage them.

        Finally, you talk about the "need" to provide a national service. Is this your need because it sure isn't a need for those who are protesting these towers in scenic areas. Does your "right" to have cellphone coverage in a particular area outweigh the rights of those who live there?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Pretty simple to resolve

          They don't have to be camouflaged, just unobtrusive which is just as well as there's nothing to camouflage them as. It would be taking things a bit too far to erect a fibre-glass fake tor on Dartmoor.

          If you follow the A635 eastwards from Greenfield on Streetview you will a mobile mast right beside the road near a farm which is by no means camouflaged but not really noticeable until you're beside it, even when you know it's there. Follow the road a bit further and you'll soon find there's nothing bigger than a fence post which could be used to camouflage anything for the next mile or two.

          The real problem here is switching off coverage from 3G where 4G is inadequate.

        2. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

          Re: Pretty simple to resolve

          >>Does your "right" to have cellphone coverage in a particular area outweigh the rights of those who live there?

          Why should you get to use a phone mast in my locality when you refuse to have one for me to use when I am in yours?

          Does your 'right' to have electricity outweigh my and my neighbours 'right' not to live next to a wind farm/traditional nuclear power station/SMR?

          I just want to know why a phone mast is different to any other service that is widely available and which has a visual impact when installed.

  9. ChrisElvidge Bronze badge

    Roaming

    At home, two 'phones, same model. Lebara SIM gets 4G, 3 SIM gets only 3G.

    To solve the problem with 4G/3G, OFCOM should mandate cost-free roaming to (an)other network if 4G not available.

    Alternatively, mast sharing. Masts run by a central authority (see TV masts). Networks rent space on masts.

  10. Lee D Silver badge

    I work in an exclusive private school in the middle of a large suburban town.

    We can't get or use 3G, 4G, 5G on the premises - no signal on any network, with any phone. If you hang out the window and point towards the tower you can maybe send a text or have a phone call. We get complaints from people hiring our facilities all the time (and things like contractor's phones, and card-readers never work). The local tower was supposed to be upgraded to 5G but the NIMBYs got there and blocked it.

    I live in (admittedly) rural Oxfordshire. I found out the other day that my car GPS tracker that I bought over a decade ago can do GPRS tracking to a Traccar installation which I can pull into Home Assistant. I thought it was just SMS-based, and that the GPRS wouldn't actually work that well.

    Then I discover that the car "disappears" in two parts of the journey on my way home down a the M40 motorway due to signal dropout. And that it never sees the car as "home" because it drops out more than 500m away from home and can't get a signal, so it just assumes it's still travelling somewhere... (which is rather annoying and I'd have to expand the limit to nearly 1km to make it reliable!).

    I used to run my previous house on 4G alone - for home automation, CCTV, VPN, general browsing, gaming, downloads, etc. Never had a problem.

    I can barely get Facebook loaded on my 5G phone at home where I am now, and it often drops out for even basic calls.

    A friend of mine calls me about once a week on his commute home from work. The call drops out at the EXACT same point on his M25 motorway journey every time. Without fail. Just a basic GSM call.

    Sorry, but coverage is still sucky. I can't remember the last time it was this bad.

    I was even eyeing up a new Draytek router as they do one with 5G dual-sim built in now, and I'm not sure I can justify it. Even with external antennae, being fixed, and orienting towards the towers, I don't think I'd actually gain much if the DSL went out and I have to fall back to 5G.

    Another thing that should be nationalised - the core mobile phone network should own and offer services to ALL providers from ALL towers, and everyone else is just a reseller. Because there is no way that I'm THAT disconnected from civilisation that I should be affected by calls dropping near/along the M25, the M40, and major towns on a daily basis.

    Here's hoping Bezos or someone get their act together and offer a Starlink alternative that isn't run by a complete twit.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      > I work in an exclusive private school in the middle of a large suburban town.

      Might the stone walls not help matters…

      > I was even eyeing up a new Draytek router as they do one with 5G dual-sim built in now, and I'm not sure I can justify it. Even with external antennae,

      Trouble is you really want something like the Draytek Vigor 130 xDSL modem which takes an external 5G antennae. Then you can mount the antennae externally in a place that gets a good signal, without having to relocate your router.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Plasterboard and wood, mate. Old barns. Private schools aren't what you think they are - many are just former houses knocked together.

        The Draytek Vigor 2927Lax-5G has exactly that - 5G antennae. And what do you think those antennae are going to do that a phone can't? They either have to be directional (as I hint at) or they are basically just a phone. You can't just "amplify" a 5G signal with an antenna like that because of transmission limits that your phone is already at most of the time.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          > Private schools aren't what you think they are - many are just former houses knocked together.

          Yes former houses, covers a wide range… :)

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tring_Park_School_for_the_Performing_Arts

          Lovely building (and park) but Grade 2 listed and being set in its own park, a bit of a bigger when it comes to IT cabling/WiFi and mobile…

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          > The Draytek Vigor 2927Lax-5G has exactly that - 5G antennae. And what do you think those antennae are going to do that a phone can't?

          Trouble is the 2927 is circa £900 inc vat whereas a vigor 130/166/167 modem is circa £100 (okay it’s xDSL so not really an option). My pitch several years back to Draytek was that a 4/5G version of the modem would be more cost effective than a full blown router, given it was going to be tucked way in some inaccessible place, additionally, it integrated better with their “enterprise” routers.

          The solution I deployed in 2020 was a 2860n with a 4G USB modem and external antenna, this was a bit of a pig of a configuration to configure on the 3900 (compared to if I had directly plugged the 4G USB stick into the 3900) as it impacted IPsec VPNs etc. however, as the 2860n supported out bound L2TP, (something not supported on the 3900.. ) I could use A&As L2TP-VPN service to hide the alternative “last mile” carrier services from users connecting in.

          The use of the 2860 enabled it to be mounted in the roof space with the antenna (Poynting 4G 2x2 MIMO with 5m cable) being mounted outside in the reception sweet spot (discovered by survey using an Android phone and one of the mobile signal analyser apps.)

          The external antenna basically improves the s/n ratio, which should reduce the amount of drops and error correction, meaning the connection is more reliable and more of the available capacity is used for data rather than retransmission…

          With 5G, those external antennae should, provided you purchased the correct SIM and contract , give you access to more concurrent channels than you would get on a typical phone; however, you may find. You need to replace the supplied antennae with something a little more substantial..

  11. crediblywitless

    The providers should never have been allowed to quote "population coverage" in the first place.

  12. greenwood-IT

    "Yes dear, I know I agreed to decorate the bathroom 10 years ago, but when I finally got around to considering doing it last week it looked a lot more expensive to do. I guess you were right, and I should have done it years ago, but there was no incentive then, and even less now"

    How the heck do these businesses get away with their excuses? They have all been making profits for years but claim to have not noticed raising prices of material essential to their license agreements? Stop them deploying 5G until they comply with their existing licenses. Perhaps fine them a percentage of their revenue based on the coverage shortfall - then they would invest to save money.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Stop them deploying 5G? HMG has been pushing them to deploy 5G and switch off 3G. Likewise roll out FTTP (which goes into areas with good FTTC coverage) at the expense of improving FTTC elsewhere. Also, until the penny finally dropped, they were encouraging the loss of resilience by switching off POTS. Even the penny dropping has only - at present - delayed it.

      All in the interest of "digitization",r "digitalisation" or whatever -i.e. the pursuit of shiny at the expense of what works.

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