Close to a third of mobile phone users can’t make calls at home

1 November 2017

As many as three in 10 mobile phone users are suffering from poor or non-existent mobile reception at home, according to research from the price comparison site Uswitch.

This is despite industry claims that 89% of UK households have mobile voice services in the home.

More than half (57%) of users report experiencing call issues while at home. Two in five (19%) calls that those users make are reported as “patchy”, and one in six (16%) cuts out completely.

Those in rural areas are still the worst affected with half (50%) of rural mobile users reporting signal issues at home. This represents just a 2% year-on-year improvement in satisfaction. Urban phone users have experienced greater improvements to phone signals as only 32% reported issues compared with 41% last year.

See the differences in signal satisfaction in the table below:

Where do you live?Percentage reporting poor/partial/no indoor reception (2017)Percentage reporting poor/partial/ no indoor reception (2016)
City centre / inner city32%41%
Urban area, but not inner city26%30%
Suburban area21%28%
Village or small town33%35%
Rural area50%52%

Source: uSwitch, October 2017

Ernest Doku, mobiles expert at, comments: “When it comes to indoor mobile coverage, we’ve seen a slight improvement over the last year. This is good news for the areas that have noticed a significantly lower incidence of intermittent or poor mobile reception in their own homes – notably mobile users in inner cities and suburban neighbourhoods – but it’ll be of little consequence to those that are still suffering.

 “The urban vs rural disparity is especially concerning. Mobile users living in the countryside are left feeling failed by providers that are yet to effectively extend their coverage outside of built-up areas. This discrepancy is starkly illustrated by this research which has seen negligible improvements made to indoor mobile service in rural areas over the last year. Whilst progress should be applauded and this prioritised focus on more densely populated areas is great for many consumers, it is of little consolation for those still living in mobile not-spots.”

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In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Having moved into a new area we were disappointed to find that we could not make or receive mobile calls whilst in our property unless we stood in a particular spot (this was also often patchy). Having contacted our provider, initially to be told that their was not a problem, which they later admitted too, after further complaints no action has been taken although they now admit a problem exists but they still keep taking our money.

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