Mobile Telephone Reception

Village Plan – Village Infrastructure

● Affordable Housing ● Alternative Electricity Generation ● Flooding ● Mobile Telephone Reception ● Broadband Speeds

A few suggestions of how to make individual inroads on this have been made by Peter Robertson. See below to see the results of the village survey, showing which networks are found troublesome where in the village.

In the Village Survey it was established that 43% of the village experienced problems with mobile phone reception while 52% had no problems. The matter was investigated in order to establish what issues may impair reception and what the village could do to improve the situation.

Where you want to use your mobile affects reception, as you already know. Here is what the survey told us about which networks give us problems, in order of experiencing a problem and by area in which the person lives:

The mobile masts that we use in the village are identified here and are sited as follows:

Network Site of Mast Info
Vodafone Calverton (Mansfield Lane/Park Rd) 1.3 miles from Post Office
O2 Between Calverton/Woodborough by Springwater Golf Course 1.9 miles from Post Office
Orange 1. Top of Windmill Hill
2. Calverton (Park Rd/Mansfield Lane Industrial Estate)
3. Between Calverton/Woodborough by Springwater Golf Course
1. Seems to leave much of Oxton in shadow
2. 1.2 miles from Post Office
3. 1.9 miles from Post Office
T-Mobile Farnsfield Longland Lane T-Mobile now uses Orange masts
3 Calverton (Hoyle Rd Industrial Estate) 1.3 miles from post Office

The existing transmitters serving Oxton do not sufficiently cover all the residents due to blind spots. Water acts as a barrier to wireless signals, so wet weather and summer leaves on trees affect reception adversely, as does your own head. The best solution for Oxtonians would be for the mobile telephone network providers to site a new multi-network mast in or closer to the village. However, this is a very expensive solution for the mobile telephone providers and is normally judged on size of population and possible income generated. There would also be the issue of where to site the transmitter and obtaining planning permission. Having discussed the matter with 2 of the leading suppliers, the chances of a new mast being sited closer to the village is very small.

Solutions:

If home use is what matters to you, choose a different network that your neighbours find works better for them than yours does for you.
A suggestion was received for individuals to fit a mobile telephone repeater at their home. There are many companies that offer equipment for self-installation. Prices start from about £300.00 to £1,500.00 and sold on-line via eBay or Google. However, whist it is legal for these companies to sell booster equipment, it is illegal to use.

Ofcom says

“Repeater devices transmit or re-transmit in the cellular frequency bands. Only the mobile network operators are licensed to use equipment that transmits in these bands. Installation or use of repeater devices by anyone without a license is a criminal offence under Section 8 of the WT Act 2006. Any person found guilty of installing or using such devices without a license would be liable on conviction to a fine of up to £5000 and/or up to 51 weeks’ imprisonment (Six months in Scotland and Northern Ireland).”

If you are connected to broadband and receive a signal greater than 1Mbps you may use Voice over IP (VoIP) which involves having a wireless network, a smartphone with WiFi capability, and some kind of VoIP client software. Again, useful only at home.

The easiest solution is obtainable through Vodafone, providing you have a 3G mobile phone and broadband with a speed greater than 1mb, you can obtain a Sure Signal box which routes your mobile communications via a Femtocell. The cost of the Sure Signal Box is £50.00 on plans that are less than £40.00 per month or you can rent for £5.00 per month. For more information go to http://www.vodafone.co.uk/personal/price-plans/network-and-coverage/sure-signal/index.htm

There was a suggestion to conduct a further survey to establish which areas had the best reception from which mobile phone provider. However, this is not an exact science. Differences in reception quality can be found not only between providers but also from room to room, especially in modern homes where foil backed insulation materials are now used. At present, we have decided not to bother you with this.
Know where your network’s nearest mast is (see table above) and keep the mobile as high as you can (upstairs?) and on the side of your head facing the mast.

Any further suggestions of how we might help Oxtonians get better mobile service will be welcomed by Peter Robertson, who will investigate and report back to us all. Please use the contact form below.

One thought on “Mobile Telephone Reception

  1. For anyone on the Orange (and probably T-mobile) network, check whether your model of smartphone (or Blackberry) supports “UMA”. If it does, and your phone is sold/branded by Orange then it can be set up to connect to the phone network over any WiFi network you have use of, to make and receive normal phone calls, send SMS etc. Having the phone WiFi on does tend to run the battery down quicker than it would otherwise, but the functionality is often worth it. For Orange users, UMA can be really useful.

    See
    http://www.store-orange.co.uk/orange-signal-boost.html
    and
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unlicensed_Mobile_Access

    (I have no commercial relation to Orange; I have phones/devices on three of the UK’s networks and acknowledge the strengths and pitfalls of all of them.)

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