Phone signal a bit ropey? It’s not just you

By | August 23, 2021

Towards the end of last week, Laura and Jess were both having issues with their mobile phone signal.  Laura’s was fine when she was in the house (her phone uses a clever system called “wifi calling”, which uses the wifi in her house to boost the signal quality – some phones have it, others don’t).  But when she was out and about, she couldn’t connect at all.

Jess was having similar problems – but the weird thing is that they’re on different phone networks.  Laura uses O2 and Jess is with EE.  Turns out it was a problem with a signal tower into our bit of Cumbria.

How did we know?  

Well, all the main networks have a “status” page on their website, where you can type in your postcode and find out whether there are any known problems.  And (more usefully) how long they think it might take to fix the problems.

When you get to the status page, you’ll be asked to type in your postcode.  You might also need to put in the model of your phone (that’s so they know whether to check for 3G, 4G or 5G signal).  If you get the option to check “coverage” or “status”, it’s the “status” option that you want.

I’ve pulled together links to the status pages for the four main networks – just click the name of your network to go to their status page: EE, O2, Three, Vodafone.  You should get some information about the problem, and hopefully, they’ll give you an idea of how long it’ll take to fix.

If your phone is with one of the smaller network providers, they all actually use one of the big four networks.  For example, Giffgaff, Tesco Mobile and Sky Mobile all actually use the same physical network as O2.  So if you’re having problems with your signal, you can check the status page of the “host” network.  If you’re not sure which host network your phone company uses, there’s a full list here on Wikipedia.

So now, if you’re not sure whether it’s just your phone playing up, or a problem with the network, you know how to find out.

By the way, if you’re having problems, but the status page says all’s well, try turning your phone all the way off and back on again.  That might fix it.

If you’re still having issues, try calling your network’s helpline from a different phone (if you can).  It might be that there’s a problem they don’t know about yet.

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