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Vodafone is THE WORST phone network for phone calls

George Haimes
13 Aug 2014
Hartington village
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One in every five calls placed in rural Britain on Vodafone is either blocked or disconnected, according to regulator Ofcom

Vodafone customers in rural areas get lumped with worst call quality of any UK mobile network, with over 20 per cent of calls being cut off or dropped. Across all the major networks call quality in rural areas was noticeably poorer than in towns and cities with over a third of people regularly struggling to get any signal whatsoever.

The results come from an Ofcom report into the state of call quality on UK mobile phone networks. EE customers in rural areas saw the highest percentage of calls successfully completed at 93.7 per cent. The network, which was established in a merger between T-Mobile and Orange, was the only operator to get over 90 per cent. O2 came second on 87.4 per cent while Three successfully completed 86 per cent of calls in rural areas.

Vodafone performed woefully, with only 79.9 per cent of calls being completed successfully in rural areas, meaning just 4 out of 5 calls aren't blocked or dropped. In urban areas O2 (97.7 per cent) successfully completed the most calls with EE (97.5 per cent), Three (96 per cent) and Vodafone (95.3 per cent) just behind.

Vodafone angrily refuted the figures, saying they were based on "outdated" measurements and didn't paint an accurate picture. A company spokesperson said independent research commissioned by Vodafone earlier this year showed that network coverage had improved.

EE was also the best network overall, successfully completing 97 per cent of all calls.O2 was in second on 95.3 per cent with Three on 94.5 per cent and Vodafone on 92.6 per cent. So-called virtual network operators, such as Tesco and Virgin Mobile, were not included in the results as they rent out network space from one of EE, O2 or Vodafone.

In compiling the data Ofcom looked at the percentage of calls successfully completed on the UK’s four main mobile phone networks. The independent research, which looks are both dropped and blocked calls, differs from coverage claims made by the networks themselves.

Ofcom's figures were compiled by network performance firm Rootmetrics and covers more than 35,000km of roads and motorways in and around large cities and small villages. More than 1,000 calls were also placed indoors, with a total of more than 28,000 calls being placed on each network over 114 days of testing. Researchers used the Samsung Galaxy S3 on EE, Vodafone and Three and the Sony Xperia Z on O2.

Ofcom said that it was working with EE, O2, Three and Vodafone to improve coverage in the UK and provide consumers with reliable information on mobile reception. The four networks have also agreed to work with Ofcom to develop an industry-wide standard for measuring call completion success rates.

Mobile phone coverage is getting a major boost with £150m being invested by Government in a new infrastructure project. As well as masts being added in uncovered or poorly covered areas work is also underway to improve mobile phone coverage in England’s national parks.

Vodafone also recently announced a new initiative to improve mobile coverage in rural areas. Its Open Sure Signal scheme hopes to improve call quality and 3G mobile broadband speeds in 100 rural locations. The network is asking rural communities to apply to receive the new technology, which uses a series of small router-sized boxes attached to village halls, pubs, shops and homes to ensure widespread coverage.

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