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There are different types of mobile phone signal and many factors that can affect signal coverage.

There are different types of mobile phone signals and many factors that can affect signal coverage. Below we explore some of the different technologies used on mobile devices


Often marked on a phone's display by the letter 'G'; General Packet Radio Service is the slowest form of data connectivity (114kbps) and is typically only used if the phone can’t find anything faster, due to interference or location circumstances. GPRS signal will allow you to load static webpages and send/receive emails but due to the slower speeds; full browsing, downloading and streaming media will not work.


Usually denoted with an 'E' and is known as Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution; This connection type fills the gap between 2G (GPRS) and 3G, with theoretical speeds of 400kbps, however real world use usually offers half this. If you’re device cannot find a 3G or faster connection, it’ll likely resort to EDGE (aka 2.5G)


This stands for 3rd Generation and is denoted by the ‘3G’ which you may see quite often at the top of your smartphone’s display, previously the standard for top mobile data speeds in the UK. 3G offers users data speeds around double that of EDGE, with up to 384kbps. On 3G you are able to download files, stream media and browse the internet with ease - however beware of your data allowance as on faster signal speeds such as 3G your data allowance will be used-up quicker.


The 'H' on modern smartphones stands for Evolved High-Speed Packet Access and is the latest form of 3G mobile data technology around. Depending on the different networks and devices, accessible HSPA+ speeds can either be 14.4Mbps and 21Mbps, with 42Mbps only possible on some networks. These speeds will allow you to use your device for more demanding internet tasks and the browsing experience is comparable to that of your fixed line broadband.


Recently launched in the UK, '4G' also known as 'LTE' or Long Term Evolution is the fastest connection type around. 4G speeds offer theoretical values of up to 10 times that of HSPA+ speeds. The majority of the latest smartphones contain LTE radios, and as long as you are on a 4G plan, you will be able to access superfast broadband speeds in select '4G-enabled' cities.

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The strength and quality of your mobile device's signal can be affected by many things such as; Wireless interference from items such as microwaves and power lines, Obstructions such as buildings, hills, trees, Weather conditions, and high demand and usage on the operator's mast.

If you are experiencing issues with mobile signal in your home or premise, take a look at our SureSignal and Booster products on our Online Shop.

If you are looking for a new mobile service, talk to us on 01285 640 000 and we will help you find the network that's best for you.