Mobile phone coverage is very good as a whole across the UK and mobile networks are constantly increasing coverage and introducing new phone masts to cope with increasing demand. However, no matter how good or bad the network coverage you will have experienced a call being dropped at some point or worse still will have been unable to get any phone coverage at all. It isn’t always the fault of the network, there are many reasons why your indoor phone signal is poor and thankfully there are a number of measures that you can take that will optimise your chances of getting as strong a mobile phone reception as possible.
Steps that you can take to boost your indoor mobile phone signal are:
1. If you are having problems getting a phone signal indoors, move around with your phone to try to find an area in your home where reception is best. This will often be close to windows or doors because large, well insulated buildings can be unfriendly environments for phone reception.
2. Get a mobile phone signal booster. Vodafone have launched a product recently called Vodafone Sure Signal which is a phone signal booster box that is connected to the household broadband and boosts the phone coverage throughout the house for up to 4 different users. To use this you will need a minimum broadband line speed of 1Mbps, plus a 3G mobile phone.
3. On some mobile phones it is possible to change your antenna. You could purchase a “hi-gain” antenna and swap this for your old antenna to improve indoor reception.
4. Buy a wireless indoor antenna booster which works by housing an antenna outside the house which then feeds into a smaller antenna within the house, thus boosting mobile phone reception in the house.
5. If calls are constantly being dropped indoors and no remedies to boost the phone signal seem to be working there are some software based options. For example, you could setup a call forwarding service which forwards all calls made to your mobile phone through to your home phone landline. Alternatively, you could use a VOIP solution (such as Skype) which could ring both your mobile phone and home landline simultaneously.
6. The way you hold your phone can contribute to the signal strength you get. One of the most advanced mobile phones currently on the market, the iPhone 4, suffers from a loss of signal when held by the lower left hand corner – not ideal for left handed users such as myself. An Apple statement on the problem stated that “Gripping any mobile phone will result in some attenuation of its antenna performance, with certain places being worse than others depending on the placement of the antennas.” Indeed the issue with the iPhone 4 prompted Apple to give away free cases to customers to alleviate the problem. So if you are having some signal strength problems, try to hold the mobile phone in different ways to see if signal strength is improved.
7 & 8. There are two final resorts if you continuously struggle to get an indoor mobile phone signal. These are to switch phone networks and/or switch mobile phones. You may find that different networks have stronger signal strengths in your area and that different mobile phones will have stronger antennas than others. If friends or family have different phones on different networks, invite them round so you can experience which phones and networks have the best reception indoors in your phone black spots.
You can use one of the Mobile Phone Reception Coverage Checkers provided by the networks to check the likely coverage for your postcode.