Calls to tackle poor mobile phone coverage in East Cambridgeshire’s rural areas

Thursday, August 28, 2014
1:32 AM

People living in large parts of East Cambridgeshire are still getting a raw deal when it comes to mobile phone coverage – according to a new report.

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Cllr James Palmer.Cllr James Palmer.

Telecoms watchdog Ofcom said this week that people living in rural areas were receiving an inferior service to those living in urban areas, with a larger proportion of calls going unconnected and reception proving patchy.

Vodafone, according to official figures compiled by the telecoms regulator, provided the poorest service in rural areas, with one in five calls on their network failing.

Rural areas were defined as villages with populations of between 500 and 2,000 people lying within 10 miles of larger towns.

Ofcom used data from RootMetrics, a company that measures network performance on mobile handsets, to better understand consumers’ experience of making phone calls on EE, O2, Three and Vodafone networks.

According to that data, 97pc of calls on the EE network were successfully connected, 95.3pc on O2, 94.5pc on Three and 92.6pc on Vodafone during the second half of 2013.

In rural areas, 93.7pc of EE calls connected, 87.4pc on O2, 86pc on Three and 79.9pc on Vodafone.

On the figures released by Ofcom, a spokesman for Vodafone, said: “Vodafone UK continues to invest heavily in its network and services, and we’re spending £1bn alone this year to improve mobile coverage and quality.

“The previously published RootMetrics’ report is based on old network measurements taken between June and December last year, which were disproved by more up-to-date findings in spring 2014.”

Poor mobile phone coverage in the district has been raised as an issue by the leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council in recent months.

Cllr James Palmer wrote to all the mobile phone companies demanding to know what was being done about poor 3G coverage.

He said: “When 3G technology was first rolled out in the last decade it was heralded as the future of communications with faster connectivity bringing fantastic new opportunities.

“However, years after it was launched only now are areas of East Cambridgeshire getting 3G – this is simply not good enough especially given the speed of our recent growth.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you suffer with poor connectivity? Contact editor@ely-standard.co.uk or write to Ely Standard, Alexander House, Fore Hill, Ely, CB7 4AF.

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