There’s nothing more irritating than needing to make a mobile call and finding out that you have no network connection. So what affects network coverage?
Mobile phones work through electromagnetic waves, similar to a traditional radio, though it operates at a different frequency. To be able to connect to the network, these radio waves need to be able to reach your phone. If something is blocking or interfering with the waves, or if you’re too far away from the nearest transmitter, then you’ll have limited or no network connection.
If you live in a city, you will typically have reasonable service no matter where you are. Outside cities and major towns, network coverage can be patchier, as the nearest transmitter may be very far away. Your mobile provider should have maps available that shows the extent of their network coverage.
Thick walls, being underground or being surrounded by tall buildings can block radio waves, hence why phone calls often drop while you’re travelling through a tunnel. Bad weather can also have an effect, as heavy rain or lightning strikes can block or interfere with the transmission of radio waves. Even hills and trees can affect your connection, so if you’re deep in a forest or between tall mountains, expect diminished coverage.
Even other phone users can impact the quality of your connection; mobile phone towers can only handle so many connections at once, so when everyone around you is trying to use their phones, making a connection can be impossible. This can often be the case after major disasters, when people trying to contact loved ones can overwhelm the network. While mobile network providers are continually expanding the capacity of their networks, this can still occasionally be a problem.
If you have any concerns about network coverage where you live or work, contact your mobile provider for more specific information.