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East Anglia's mobile coverage on the up - but how is your network?

PUBLISHED: 19:30 09 August 2019

Most of Suffolk and north Essex is covered by 4G signals. Picture: ARCHANT FILES

Most of Suffolk and north Essex is covered by 4G signals. Picture: ARCHANT FILES

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Most of Suffolk and north Essex is now covered by 4G mobile phone signals, according to new figures from the consumer group Which?

Mobile phone coverage has improved in Suffolk. Picture: PAUL GEATERMobile phone coverage has improved in Suffolk. Picture: PAUL GEATER

But there are still some rural areas, especially in the Suffolk Coastal constituency, where coverage is limited to one or two providers - meaning visitors are still liable to find themselves in a mobile notspot.

The new survey - split into parliamentary constituencies - shows that in Ipswich, Clacton, Harwich and Colchester there is 100% coverage for at least one network.

In Ipswich all phone networks have coverage in 99.97% of the town.

The constituency with the lowest overall coverage is Waveney, where 99.81% of the constituency is covered by 4G from at least one network.

In Suffolk Coastal, where 99.98% of the constituency is covered by at least one network, only 80.27% has coverage by all four networks - EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone - meaning that visitors on the "wrong" network may struggle to get a signal in some notspots in significant parts of the county.

There are partial notspots in more than 10% of the constituency in West Suffolk, Waveney and in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich.

Which? carried out the research as the government tries to ensure more people have access to wireless technology.

The research comes amid discussions between the UK government and mobile operators over how to boost mobile broadband access in poorly-served areas - and ensure the government meets its target of extending 4G coverage to 95 per cent of the country by 2022.

The worst notspots were in rural parts of Scotland, Wales and northern England.

In a separate survey, Which? found that half (49%) of people said they experienced patchy mobile phone signal at least once a month.

Over half (57%) of those who experienced a lack of mobile phone coverage in the last three months said they experienced a significant impact as a result - the most common being the inability to make or receive important phone calls or messages.

A quarter (23%) of those who experienced a lack of mobile phone coverage in the last three months said they felt stressed as a result.

Caroline Normand, from Which?, 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 like online banking, maps and NHS information - while some even struggle to receive important calls and messages.

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"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."

How is your constituency doing for 4G coverage?

Ipswich: 100% covered by at least one network, 99.97% by all four.

Colchester: 100% by at least one network, 97.37% by all four.

Clacton: 100% by at least one network, 95.65% by all four.

Harwich and North Essex: 100% by at least one network, 93.24% by all four.

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich: 99.99% by at least one network, 88.64% by all four.

Suffolk Coastal: 99.98% by at least one network, 80.27% by all four.

South Suffolk: 99.91% by at least one network, 91.66% by all four.

Bury St Edmunds: 99.88% by at least one network, 91.53% by all four.

West Suffolk: 99.88% by at least one network, 86.43% by all four.

Waveney: 99.81% by at least one network, 84.05% by all four.

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