The More Expensive Your Mobile Phone, the Worse the Signal, Says Ofcom

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Signal issues are a familiar pain. You can drop the best part of £1,000 on a smartphone, lock yourself into the cash-sapping contract from hell and still find you’ve got no bars when all you want to do is send a series of cheeky Snapchats from the loo.

According to Ofcom, such issues are becoming more and more common, which could be down to manufacturers insisting on building their phones from high-end materials, usually metal and glass. The regulator, which conducted tests on smartphones and non-smart mobiles under controlled conditions, says that cheaper, plastic phones tend to be a lot better than high-end smartphones when it comes to picking up signal.

When we say a lot better, we mean it. On a 2G network, the smartphones Ofcom tested required a minimum 2G signal that was on average seven times stronger than that required by non-smart phones. On 3G, meanwhile, the worst-performing smartphone only picked up a signal when it was pumped up to nine times the minimum level recommended by the GSMA, and in the 4G stakes, this bottom signal level had to be boosted seven times.

Unfortunately, no handsets have been singled out by Ofcom, as it says that no one phone consistently performed better than others. [Telegraph]


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