Mobile networks (are they good yet?) [S21E05]


13 November 2023

1 hr 5 mins 15 secs

Season 21

Your Hosts

About this Episode

This week the team go back to their roots and talk about mobile networks:

  • Ewan is deeply underwhelmed with the offerings of the UK's mobile network operators, having spent time living and working around Europe and the Middle East. He's especially unimpressed with network availability on major transport links, having had almost-ubiquitous access to 5G coverage in the places he worked and travelled.

  • Rafe's got some OFCOM data (because of course) that suggests things aren't as bad as Ewan thinks. He also notes that there are some rural areas with good 5G coverage, so people's experience will be very dependent on location. He does, however, acknowledge that new legislation has been required to help network operators upgrading existing masts (where planning restrictions had previously blocked them).

  • Ben is surprised that the perceivable-quality of mobile network service hasn't changed in the 2 years since we last covered it on 361, except for a price reduction. He's also frustrated that network 'quality' so frequently causes problems even where signal 'strength' is reportedly good. He's also surprised by Rafe's suggestion that mobile networks might prefer their own customers to other MVNO operator's customers.

The team also discuss the growing market of app and eSIM-based providers that offer cheaper access to mobile operators when overseas.

Get in touch! Let us know your thoughts or topics you'd like to hear about in future via the website, Twitter (if you must) or Mastodon (preferred).

Support 361 Podcast

Episode Links

Episode Comments