Archive for the ‘Coverage blackspots’ Category

A study commissioned by UK regulator Ofcom said mobile coverage inside buildings is under threat from a number of factors over the next few years, including the use of higher frequency bands.

Other factors include stricter building regulations, poorer device sensitivity in multi-band smartphones and growing user expectations, according to the study conducted by Real Wireless.

However, the good news is that mobile operators are tackling the problem as shown by recent announcements from UK operators aboutf how they plan to extend indoor coverage. Both Vodafone and O2 have said they will reach 98 per cent indoor data coverage by end 2015.

The study identifies a number of options such as MIMO antenna deployment and allocation of sub 1GHz spectrum that could deepen in-building coverage.

However, in certain circumstances due to variations in construction materials and building shapes, delivering a mobile signal does become problematic.

Moreover, users increasingly demand high-quality indoor coverage particularly for data consumption.

source: Mobile World Live 

The news came as Norfolk County Council revealed that its Better Broadband for Norfolk programme, which also involves the government and BT, was running ahead of schedule.

By the end of December, it had given fibre broadband infrastructure to 22,335 properties – more than 2,500 more than it was contracted to do by this date.

The national Mobile Infrastructure Project, a £150m scheme to provide mobile phone mast infrastructure in ‘not spot’ clusters, had previously identified the A143 between Great Yarmouth and Haverhill as one of 10 trunk roads in the country that needed investment.

Although 12 new clusters of Norfolk ‘not spots’ have been identified, the council said it was not allowed to say where they were because their locations were shared under a non-disclosure agreement.

There was also uncertainty about what, if anything, would be done to bring mobile phone coverage to these areas.

A report to tomorrow’s Environment, Transport and Development Panel said they had been assessed for accessibility, as well as numerous environmental aspects, and a meeting had been due to be held with district planners on February 19

The results of the meeting are unknown.

Source : EDP24 

More than 100 Daily Post readers got in touch about problems with mobile services across the region People across North Wales are experiencing problems with their mobile phone signal Mobile phone coverage in  North Wales remains a “nightmare” and not-spots in the  region are deterring businesses.

Those are the views of  people across North Wales  who got in touch to slam the  “dreadful” service after a report by the Daily Post last week. The problems with Vodafone  led to a deluge of similar  complaints on social media.

Customers said they had  been left for days with no  coverage at all, while others  complained of geographic  “not-spots” where phone signal disappears. Mobile phone providers acknowledged that mountainous and remote areas can  present challenges, but said  they are spending millions  every day on improving services and hope to bring 3G to  almost the entire population  within a few years. William Davies, owner of  IT services company Interwebi Limited, spoke to the  Daily Post about his struggle  with poor mobile service. He said: “O2 drops out frequently in Talacre and EE has  a poor signal in Prestatyn.  This affects both my offices –  and therefore my business –  in a bad way when businesses  can’t get through with their  urgent IT problems. It’s an  awful service. “At times, the signal drops  out entirely. We would get  emails from customers saying  they’d tried to call but  couldn’t get through. It puts  us in an awkward position. “We’ve ended up spending  money to create alternative  ways for customers to get in  touch. “I’ve heard people say that  businesses have stayed away  from the area because they  can’t rely on the communications.”

The Daily Post has also been backing the advancement of net speeds in Wales with our Up to Speed campaign.   A spokeswoman for Vodafone said: “Although we work  hard to make sure customers  can use their phones when  and where they want to, the  nature of communications  technology means that we  cannot guarantee a fault-free  service at all times. “Various things can affect  the signal, many of them beyond our control such as  power outages and severe  weather. “In some parts of the country, accessing sites for repair  can be more difficult than  others – especially when  masts are situated in mountainous or remote areas. “In terms of coverage generally, it will vary and will  depend on several factors including whether hills and  mountains adversely affect  the signal, how easy it is to  build and maintain a mast,  and how many people are  living in a particular location. “We are always looking to  improve coverage and capacity.  We are currently spending £2.5m a day on improvements to the network. Over  the next few years, we aim to  bring good indoor 3G coverage to 98% of people.”

A spokesman for O2 said:  “Despite the challenges of the  natural landscape when it  comes to building sites in the  area, we are constantly evaluating opportunities to increase or create coverage.

“The Mobile Infrastructure  Project, launched by the Government, is investing £150m  to bring mobile services to  rural  ‘not spots’ areas and  we’re very much part of this.  In addition to this, we’ve invested over £1bn in our network over the past few years  and we’ll continue to invest  £1.5m each day to improve our  network and services on 2G,  3G and 4G services. “Since 2012, we started to  jointly operate and manage a  single network grid in the UK  with Vodafone which will  consolidate the basic physical  infrastructure. This allows us  to reach more far faster.” “We’re unable to confirm specific locations for the rollout of new or upgraded masts.

Customers will be able to use our online coverage checker to gauge what service would be like for indoor/outdoor coverage on 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Source ; Daily Post  

A small Herefordshire village is one of 12 so-called “not spots” – residential areas without mobile phone coverage – to join the network on Friday. But how much will it change villagers’ lives?

Ewyas Harold, near the Welsh border, is one of the 2% of places in the UK that cannot get any mobile signal at all – until now.

Three small base stations have been put on the roofs of the pub, the school and the doctors’ surgery.

It is the result of months of campaigning by Graham Powell, a local county councillor.

Mr Powell said he entered local politics because he wanted to improve the phone and broadband coverage in the rural area.

A former telecommunications worker, he took on the job of getting the people of Ewyas Harold behind the idea, which led to the village becoming one of 12 picked from hundreds to take part in the trial run by Vodafone.

He cites emergencies as an important reason for having network coverage, adding: “I’d hate for someone to have an accident and not be able to call for help.”

Mobile trial communities include:

  • Ewyas Harold, Herefordshire
  • East Garston, West Berkshire
  • Newcastleton, Borders
  • Pendine, Camarthenshire
  • Walls, Shetland
  • Witherslack, Cumbria
  • Caldbeck, Cumbria
  • Kinlochard, Perthshire
  • Cranborne, Dorset
  • Three further areas to be announced in 2014

source : BBC News

Eurostar and Le Shuttle passengers will be able to access mobile communications networks in both bores of the Channel Tunnel from March, after Eurotunnel signed a 10-year agreement with UK telecoms companies EE and Vodafone on January 9.

Under the agreement EE and Vodafone customers will be able to access 2G and 3G services in the north running tunnel, which is generally used by trains from the UK to France. Both companies expect to offer 4G data services in the future.

Eurotunnel installed the cabling needed for mobile telecoms coverage during 2011-12 as part of its roll-out of GSM-R for railway use. These cables then needed connecting to the public telecoms companies’ infrastructure at each end of the Channel Tunnel.

French telecoms operators were keen to get connectivity for UK-bound passengers in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games, and from June 2012 Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR began offering GSM-P services in the south running tunnel which is normally used by France – UK trains.

Work to connect the cables in the north running tunnel to the UK telecoms network is now underway for completion by March.

source: Railway Gazette

Russian mobile operator MTS has raised the indoor coverage of its network significantly in the city of Samara this year, reports Samara.ru. The operator has used femtocells for this purpose. The indoor network has been expanded in the Farrini and Maximilyans restaurants, at the Veles-group agro-holding company, at unts of Mars Ars Chocolate Volga and other companies. The operator has also expanded the coverage of its GSM and 3G networks in the cities of Samara, Tolyatti, Neftegorsk, Novokuybyshevsk and Chapayevsk.

Guardian Readers reply in their thousands as they attempt to map the country’s mobile blackspots…

Universal access to superfast internet on a mobile phone is finally becoming a reality. Or is it? All four British networks have begun switching on their 4G masts, but many customers complain they still struggle to get a 3G signal, or even make a phone call.

We asked readers to help map the country’s coverage blackspots, and the 1,600 responses show that whatever the reality, some people believe their existing service has deteriorated since their network switched on 4G.

“Three months ago I lost reception completely in my house,” says Dan Cecchini, whose contract is with Orange. “According to EE [Orange's parent company] it is because a 4G mast went live in my area.” Cecchini’s problem was solved when he was given a booster box to plug in at home, but customers of other networks are reporting similar issues.

Mike, a Vodafone subscriber from Cheddar in Somerset, says his village does not have 3G but uses the Edge service, which offers slower speeds but has always been reliable. Until now. “Since the launch of 4G in other parts of the country the performance of Edge has dropped off a cliff,” he says.

Mark Abraham, on O2 in the north London borough of Harrow, makes a similar observation. “O2 has had poor coverage since starting its 4G services provision,” he says. “What used to work doesn’t, and staff have a standard excuse for problems, blaming a transmitter fault and saying ‘wait until it’s been repaired’.”

In theory, the advent of 4G should mean a better service for most people; networks are investing in better equipment. Vodafone and O2 have promised that their superfast signal will reach into the living rooms of 98% of the population by the end of 2015, and EE reckons on achieving the target a year earlier, by the end of 2014.

Coverage will exceed what has been achieved in the decade since 3G was launched. Today, 80% of the population can get a signal from all of the four operators – EE, O2, 3 and Vodafone – but geographically it remains very patchy, with just 21% of the landmass being served by all four. Nearly 23% of the UK has no 3G at all, and in nearly 13% of the country making any kind of mobile call is impossible.

Joanna in Aberdeen, a city famous for its granite architecture, has been told her house may be the problem. She lives in the centre of town but both voice calls and internet are unreliable. “I contacted O2 about this and they have given me several excuses, including saying it is because I live in a granite building, and problems in the area, but they give no date of when it will be fixed, and it was due to the switchover from 3G to 4G.”

So why should the arrival of 4G impact other services? One answer is that networks have been reorganising their masts. In order to save money, Vodafone and O2 have a mast sharing deal which will increase each network’s coverage by 40%. They will share 18,500 masts, but remove around 2,500 to cut out duplication. Their services will reach more people, but some customers living near a decomissioned mast may suddenly lose coverage.

Source : The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/dec/17/mobile-phone-coverage-4g-3g-signal-complaints-blackspots

How many people move office and assume that their mobiles will work at the new location?  Anyone bother to check the coverage from their operator before moving in?  Anyone had that terible Monday morning when you discover there is no coverage in the new office?

Why not commission a coverage check of your new office or premises before moving in?  Find out the coverage from all the UK operators before the big move!  You will know if your mobiles will work or now before that big day.

 

Look at the Smartersurvey product at http://www.smartermobile.com/sNet_survey.php.   Unbiased coverage advice. Perfect for that office move.

Advantages: Out doors most are OK
Disadvantages: All UK networks have problems

Here’s a few things you probably don’t know. In general the four UK networks consider their coverage to be acceptable. New sites are installed, and existing sites upgraded not for coverage reasons, but for capacity reasons – if a base station is overloaded they are losing revenue, if you have poor coverage you’ll just try again. A lot more site sharing is happening than ever did in the past. This means a bad signal is as likely to be due to a poorly optimized network than it is to poor coverage – just watch how quickly the signal comes back! I work in the industry, so perhaps I shouldn’t say this, but in terms of coverage I’d rate them as: Vodafone, Orange, O2, One2One (inc. Virgin). …

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