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Four in 10 British homes blighted by mobile not-spots

Wednesday, June 17th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Four in 10 Brits have some kind of mobile blackspot in their home, according to a new survey.

A study by mobile network testing company Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) found that 40% of Britons are not able to get a mobile signal somewhere in their house.

The research, which polled 2,000 UK adults, found that 32% ‘regularly’ have issues making and receiving mobile calls from home, while the proportion of respondents that said they regularly experienced mobile internet connectivity issues at home was 30%.

Global Wireless Solutions’ study of wireless connectivity in UK homes combined results from the poll with data collected and analysed from inside London homes.

Liverpool and Cardiff were named as the worst UK cities for blackspots in homes, with 60% and 54% of respondents respectively reporting mobile blackspots – also known as not-spots.

Britons living in Georgian homes and homes built in the ‘Noughties’ are most likely to feel blackspots are marring their mobile indoor experiences when inside, the survey found.

Two in three blackspot-afflicted respondents said they had a mobile calling and/or data problem in their kitchen, which also had the lowest operator ‘4G penetration’, according to GWS’ tests.

According to the company, one in four of the UK adults polled said that mobile data connectivity issues had ‘definitely contributed’ to their decision to switch operators in the past.

And more than one in seven said that voice calling blackspots had led them to ditch and switch their mobile service provider.

Over a period of six weeks, GWS collected and tested data from inside and outside more than 50 houses in London, with the results suggesting that moving indoors has a noticeable effect on the reliability of UK ‘voice’ networks.

One in 14 calls on EE failed during the in-home testing, compared to just one in 174 on O2, GWS said.

Paul Carter, CEO of GWS, said the UK is no longer a ‘fixed line’ nation.

'Unrealistic claims'

“When we’re at home we don’t just receive calls on our mobiles – we make them too.

“The best phone is the one you’ve got on you – not the one sitting in its dock out in the hallway.”

But he said operators are “clearly struggling” with the world of “in-home mobility”.

“Only by gathering and analysing accurate data on the performance of wireless networks will operators find a solution that genuinely benefits consumers - consumers who are currently not well-served by the kind of ‘crowd-sourced’ data operators too-often use to bolster unrealistic claims about the level of service they offer.”

GWS said its testing suggests that all of the big four UK operators are having problems extending their 4G networks into British homes.

Three had 4G coverage for 78% of the time during outdoor testing, but just 55% of the time inside.

GWS said tests found 4G with EE almost 100% of the time when outdoors but just 85% when testing indoors.

O2 achieved the best in-home 4G penetration, with GWS on 4G for 90% of the time it spent testing inside Londoners’ homes.

Vodafone was the next best performer when it came to in-home 4G access – GWS was on 4G with Vodafone for 87% of the time it spent testing inside properties.

Mr Carter said Britons’ expectations are becoming increasingly hard to meet as they use mobile data when at home.

“Our data is clear: in-home mobile data blackspots drive subscribers to ditch and switch their service provider.

“That’s why operators need to move quickly and decisively to demonstrate the level of service they’re actually providing to Brits - with robust, understandable data that turns their in-home wireless data performance into a selling point, rather than a liability.”

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