Eight in 10 UK regions lack full 4G coverage

New analysis has revealed that four fifths of constituency areas suffer from patchy 4G mobile coverage, with the worst affected areas in rural Scotland and Wales.

Parts of major UK cities and towns, including Brighton, Cardiff and Sheffield, are also among areas not able to receive a signal from mobile operators EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

The Which? study found that 4G coverage is not available from all four operators in 524 out of 650 UK parliamentary constituencies, with the most poorly served city-based constituencies being Rochford and Southend East in Essex, South West Devon, and Romsey and Southampton North in Hampshire. Each of these constituencies had less than 80 per cent coverage with all four operators.

The research arrives amid discussions between the government and mobile operators over how to boost mobile access in poorly served areas, with new Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledging to ensure the government meets its target of extending 4G coverage to 95 per cent of the country by 2022. However, only 67 per cent of the UK’s geographical area currently have 4G coverage from all four operators, while eight per cent has no 4G mobile coverage at all.

Caroline Normand, Which? director of advocacy, said: “Millions of people are finding it difficult to get a reliable mobile connection and risk missing out on digital services we increasingly rely on – such as online banking, maps and NHS information – while some even struggle to receive important calls and messages. To tackle this unacceptable and widening digital divide, the government must act now to connect the UK with truly comprehensive mobile and broadband by swiftly putting in place a plan to give communities the infrastructure they need.”

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