title="Chiddingfold Parish Council in Surrey">

What's OnFri, 19th January 2018



Mast signal and coverage is not the only issue... 

Various reports from around the world over the last three years have concluded that consumers increasingly experience poor coverage with their mobile phones. The challenge for mobile operators is that the perceived coverage issues are less to do with the quality of the networks that they provide, but rather more to do with the quality of the smartphones that people use.  It is more often the case that the quality of the smartphone combined with how it is configured and used is more to blame for poor performance than the mobile network.

Here are the main reasons why you might get a bad signal on you phone:

1. THE WRONG PHONE.  THIS IS THE MAJOR REASON FOR BAD SIGNAL ON YOUR PHONE.  There is a big difference in the quality of antennas in different phones.  Tests have shown that previous versions of the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 performed better in a major study of phone quality performed by Professor Gert Froelund Pedersen of Aalborg University (one of the world’s leading institutes for the study on antennas in phones).

2. Too many apps. The more apps you install, the less coverage you may experience. Apps create unwanted signal noise.

3. Free apps and games. Free games such as Angry Birds don’t cost a penny, but they are filled with advertisements that eat your bandwidth and can contribute to poor coverage on your phone.

4. Open apps. It is a good idea to close them when not in use. Even if you are not using an app, if it's in the background, it will still send and receive signals to the network.

5. Notifications. If you have a lot of friends who ping and update you all the time from, for example, Facebook, or you have regular news, weather, share price and bank notifications, these all take up bandwidth.

6. Your operating system. Even when you make sure your version is up to date, you run the risk that the new version is actually worse than the old. So make sure you install all subsequent updates, as these may correct issues that affect your phone's performance. iPhone is iPhone, but Android is out there in a multitude of different versions because each phone manufacturer adapts them differently and the way Androids handle mobile traffic is different from phone to phone.

7. A Samsung Galaxy S3 is not a Samsung Galaxy S3.  Mobile phones are produced and marketed through many global manufacturing and supply chains.  As a consequence, the same model of phone will be built with components sourced from different suppliers. The same model of phone can vary by country and within country. There are at least ten known variants of the same Samsung Galaxy S3. Your variant may not be optimal with your network. Genuine iPhones do not suffer this issue as Apple have a much stricter control on production.

8. Rush hour. During times of peak traffic, the same mobile mast must serve more users, so the quality per user may degrade or slow (it works pretty much the same as the contention rate for your broadband supply).

9. Train travel. The metal tubing around windows in trains and related materials can buffer mobile signals. Also, when the train (or any vehicle) moves quickly it makes it difficult for your phone to switch connections between masts.

10. Telecom service provider. All networks are as good as each other.  The best for you depends entirely on which has coverage where you are at the time you use your phone.

I know there are issues with network coverage in Chiddingfold, but it might be possible to improve your phone's performance.  So, the next time you experience poor coverage, take a look at your phone. Go through the things above, changing one or more might reduce their impact on your phone's performace; things separate from the network itself.  It's been traditional to blame service providers for poor performance through poor coverage, but the phones themselves are often an overlooked but nonetheless major factor.

​Sue Frossard
​Parish Clerk
​21 Nov 2017


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