Today, I’d like to share my experience with a GSM operator in the United Kingdom. You can find information about the major operators on this page.
Since my arrival in the UK in 2002, I have experimented with all the available networks in the market. It was astonishing to discover the subpar GSM signal quality in a country that is a member of the G8. I’m not referring to the service or pricing; rather, I’m focusing on signal and sound quality, which leaves much to be desired. To be clear, I’ve changed addresses 26 times in various locations across the UK over the span of 11 years, and I can speak from firsthand experience.
Even in London, there are areas where none of the operators can provide service, such as certain places in Sydenham Hill, Herne Hill, and Crystal Palace.
When traveling on the major “M” motorway, there’s no guarantee that you can seek help via your GSM mobile in case of an emergency.
I embarked on a quest to uncover the reasons behind this issue, and I believe I’ve found the answer. Health and safety regulations compel providers to limit the signal level to 32 dB. Naturally, this dramatically reduces the coverage distance of the antennas. A proper macro antenna should stand at 30 meters in height and provide at least 50 dB of signal strength. In reality, major antennas in large cities are macro cell antennas with signal strengths ranging from 5 to 10 dB.
If you want to check what signal coverage is available in your area in the UK, I recommend visiting this website.
Best of luck, and may you enjoy a reliable signal.
(actual on 2009-2012).