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Service levels woefully poor - at wits end

sebbelcher
4: Newbie

I don't know where to turn with this.  We are with Vodafone because they are the only provider that has ANY coverage in our area (see below).  We have the WiFi Calling service enabled but it is inredibly unreliable and we are constantly bombarded with texts/messages from friends, family and work colleagues saying "I tried calling but it went straight to voicemail" or "I can't get through to you I tried X times" on a daily basis.  When we make outbound calls we often have to try 3 or 4 times before the call will go through, calls are then often dropped mid-call, which is incredibly frustrating when you've waited 20 minutes on hold to speak to someone already.

The problem seems to be that the phones will occasionally latch on to the tiny bit of 3G coverage we have (single bar) and when they do this they drop off WiFi Calling and try to use the mobile network.  We know from experience however that this signal is not good enough to make a call, if you try to start a call when it's connected to the cell network the call will not go through.  So I think what is happening is that as we move around to different areas of the house sometimes the phone is swtiching back to the cell network, which essentally makes us uncontactable via voice calling.

The only solution I've seen suggested is that we have to manually switch mobile network off when we are at home but this is not a sustainable solution, because when we do this we become uncontactable as soon as we leave the house, unless we always, every single time, remeber to go into settings and turn mobile signal on/off the moment we step in or out of the house.

I feel like the only solution now is to move to a network that actually has ZERO signal in our house so that the Wifi Calling stays permanently connected.

We only live 3 miles from a city, where there is full 5G coverage.  It shouldn't be this hard to use a mobile phone in 2024.  Any other ideas?

sebbelcher_0-1714556076933.png

 

18 REPLIES 18

sebbelcher
4: Newbie

From a coverage perspective it seems like there are some small changes Vodafone could make quite easily to improve the signal in the village centre but I have no idea how to go about asking for this change...

The best mast for the village (Gotherington) would be eNB ID 11187 but for some reason this mast has a black spot right over the village, I can't see any topographical reason for this (there isn't a hill in the way or any large buildings) so it would seem all that is required is a minor realignment of the transmitter:

sebbelcher_0-1714557459908.png

The mast which my mobile phone attaches to most often (when I am unable to make or receive calls) is eNB ID 5176 which has a transmitter pointing directly at the village an no topographical obstructions, but this one seems to be under-powered (rsrp on phone is -121dBm), boosting the output of this transmitter would probably vastly improve reception in the village.

sebbelcher_1-1714557729146.png

 

Gemma
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @sebbelcher - thanks for taking your time to explain what's happening and your suggestions. I know how important it is to have the best available signal. I can see from our Network Status Checker, that you are in an area with 'Limited/Rural' coverage. Your local serving site (88295), is performing as currently expected. Please keep a look out via our Network Status Checker, for any future planned updates. These would show, by selecting the 'Planned (3 months) option, in the bottom right. 

japitts
4: Newbie

@sebbelcher wrote:

I feel like the only solution now is to move to a network that actually has ZERO signal in our house so that the Wifi Calling stays permanently connected.


Or one that prioritises VoLTE & VoWiFi above other techs. 3G switchoff is complete for VF & EE, in-progress for 3UK.

Mark
Community Manager
Community Manager

Let's see if we can get to the bottom of the issue for you @sebbelcher. When you're connected to WiFi and have WiFi Calling enabled this should step in and keep you connected if the 2/4G connection you have isn't strong enough to hold a stable connection. It sounds like this isn't the case for you here and we'd be happy to look into this for you. So we can make sure this has been enabled correctly on your account at our end, please pop us a message through one of our social channels. When you speak to us, we'll also be more than happy ot go through a few troubleshooting steps with you, these may help you maintain a stable connection. You can check if we're expecting any improvement to your current service strength through our Network Status Checker.


@Mark wrote:

When you're connected to WiFi and have WiFi Calling enabled this should step in and keep you connected if the 2/4G connection you have isn't strong enough to hold a stable connection


This suggests that WiFi-calling will only kick-in "if the 2G connection isn't strong enough", thus the network priorities are 4G > 2G > VoWiFi.

2G being set at a higher priority than VoWiFi won't help this case.

It is possible that optimisation might be able to make some changes to improve the signal in the area. Our social media is able to raise a request for this. If you'd like to follow Marks links and connect with the team they can start to see if anything can be done.

I don't have a service issue, but am responding to the OP who does. One of the VF staffers, Gemma, has already said the serving sites are performing as expected - which suggests this is an issue of radio-layer-priorities. VoWiFi needs to be prioritised above 2G & 4G layers, to rectify the symptoms as described. Or the radio parameters set to ensure that radio layers not achieving usable quality, are de-prioritised.

DaveCr
3: Seeker
3: Seeker

This is why we need to stop UK Government wasting £300M building 300 masts in completely uninhabited areas of the Highlands, as described on Countryfile this week. The investment (our money, as taxpayers) should go to where it is needed by people. No-one can explain the value of these masts (called TNS masts by the Shared Rural Network folk). All they need to do is ask the people here what is wanted, instead of making it up from a desk in London.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/srnmastactiongroup/

 

 


@DaveCr wrote:

This is why we need to stop UK Government wasting £300M building 300 masts in completely uninhabited areas of the Highlands


Networks are criticised for not providing coverage outside urban areas, and then criticised when they do. The planning system is also stacked against MNO's who try.

"where it is needed" is a subjective concept, but bravo to operators who are trying to improve rural coverage and stop a two-tier postcode lottery further developing.