'One third hit by mobile problems'

Press Association
Mobile phones
Mobile phones

The frustrations of mobile phone users with their networks were laid out today in a report showing that nearly a third suffered problems at least every week.

Vodafone came bottom for dropped calls with more than one in five made in rural areas failing to connect, according to data from watchdog Ofcom. Nationally, the network failed to complete an average of 7.4% of all calls made.

EE topped the major networks with 3% of calls failing, which fell to just 2.5% in urban areas.

Ofcom also measured O2 and the Three network, who respectively dropped 4.7% and 5.5% of their calls nationally.

Vodafone said it "continues to invest in its network and services", adding that it was spending £1 billion this year to improve its coverage and quality.

One in 20 calls dropped

The survey said O2 was best for urban calls, while EE was best for rural.

EE said: "We're investing hundreds of millions each year in expanding the reach of our network so that more people can make phone calls in more places."

It added: "It's great to see our ongoing investment in phone calls reflected in Ofcom's report."

Across the country, one in 20 users said that calls dropped unexpectedly every day, while 14% of those in remote rural areas found they were unable to make calls.

The report defines remote rural areas as villages with populations between 500 and 2,000 more than ten miles away from an urban area.

Urban satisfaction rate higher

Some 78% of people in urban areas were satisfied with their mobile network, compared to 67% in rural parts of the UK and 70% in remote areas.

The regulator said that as the take up of smartphones has risen "improving the quality of consumers' mobile experience is a priority area for Ofcom".

The watchdog said the 3G networks of the four major networks covered around 90% of the country. It added that it expected them to have similar, if not higher, levels of faster 4G coverage by 2017.

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