I have poor mobile coverage in my area, what can I do about this?

You should contact your Mobile Network Operator (MNO) to make them aware of your issue.

You can also provide us with the information at and we will collate this information to establish the extent of the issue in your area, if appropriate this will allow us to engage with the MNOs as required.

How can I find out which provider offers the best signal in my area?

Different mobile providers could offer better coverage in your area, meaning you could get a better indoor signal.

Ofcom’s coverage checker offers information on predicted coverage from different mobile providers at specific locations. It also allows you to view broadband availability and speeds at any UK address.

Is it possible to improve my existing indoor mobile coverage?
How do I set up Wifi calling on my mobile phone?

With more people at home using the same connection, you can manage your data use and help everyone get the bandwidth they need – for video streaming, virtual meetings or voice calls.

Ofcom has advice on how to set up Wifi calling.


What is 5G?

5G, short for ‘fifth generation mobile networks’, is the latest generation mobile phone technology, the successor to 4G. In addition to providing much more capacity for data and video, it is a technology that will provide the underlying wireless infrastructure to support a wide range of new applications such as connected (driverless) cars, virtual and augmented reality and the foundations for emerging Smart city and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

It has a range of additional technical capabilities designed to provide more bandwidth and enable applications to respond faster. It will operate on radio frequencies that are not currently in use for mobile phone networks.

As with previous cellular technologies, 5G networks rely on signals carried by radio waves – part of the electromagnetic spectrum – transmitted between an antenna or mast and your phone.

We’re surrounded by electromagnetic radiation all the time – from television and radio signals, as well as from a whole range of technologies, including mobile phones, and from natural sources such as sunlight.

5G uses higher frequency waves than earlier mobile networks, allowing more devices to have access to the internet at the same time and at faster speeds.

These waves travel shorter distances through urban spaces, so 5G networks require more transmitter masts than previous technologies, positioned closer to ground level.

What are the features of 5G?

Faster download speeds: 5G will provide much faster speeds than are achievable with today’s 4G networks. 5G is expected to provide speeds between 1GBps and 10GBps. This would mean a full HD movie could be downloaded in 10 seconds as opposed to 10 minutes today.

Lower Latency: 5G will also have significantly lower latency meaning very little lag (or buffering), with reaction times faster than the human brain. This will enable applications that simply aren’t possible today, such as: multiplayer mobile gaming, factory automation, and other tasks that demand quick responses.

Greater Capacity: 5G will also have vastly greater capacity so that networks can better cope with not only the rapidly increasing data demands of customers today but the growth of high-demand applications being planned in the future.

What are the real-world benefits of 5G?

Real-world benefits – some examples:

IoT devices: A wide range of connected devices. For example, O2 has found that 5G enabled tools such as smart grids and electric autonomous vehicles will save householders £450 a year through lower food, council and fuel bills (MobileUK).

Optimised services: Utilisation of smart bins and intelligent lighting could save councils £2.8 billion a year (MobileUK).

Remote health services: NHS could see up to 1.1 million GP hours freed up through telehealth services (MobileUK)..

Connected cars: 5G will be critical to connected cars which will require a constant and guaranteed connection.

Holographic video: Industrial equipment could be controlled remotely helping increase worker safety and 3D medical imaging and remote surgery could become a reality.

What do health experts say about 5G?

In the UK, the UK Health Security Agency (previously known as Public Health England (PHE)) takes the lead on public health matters associated with radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, or radio waves, used in telecommunications. Central to PHE advice is that exposures to radio waves should comply with the ICNIRP guidelines.

ICNIRP is the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, which is formally recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO).

5G networks are licensed and strictly regulated by Ofcom within public health guidelines that were set by Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Central to PHE advice is that exposures to radio waves should comply with the guidelines published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). ICNIRP is formally recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In addition, the UK’s mobile industry has made a voluntary commitment to comply with international guidelines and to provide certificates of compliance with planning applications for mobile base stations.

A joint Government and Ofcom guide to 5G mobile technology, plain English guide, gives people the facts and tackles disinformation about 5G (published August 2020).

Mobile masts

There is an application for a new mobile mast in my area, why is this needed?

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are putting significant investment in to improving and future proofing their networks.

This is due to the ever increasing data demands placed on their existing infrastructure as well as the rollout of a new 5G network in the region.

In order to facilitate these improvements it is necessary for new infrastructure to be installed. 

Why are new mobile masts so tall?

The radio frequencies used to transmit mobile signals are disrupted by the surrounding topography such as trees and buildings.

In order to provide sufficient coverage the antenna that transmits the signal must be installed at a height where it can pass over/around these obstructions as much as possible.

In particular, the radio frequencies required for 5G are more affected by these obstructions and therefore have to be installed on taller masts in order for it to work efficiently.