Dropped calls: Is your operator really at fault?

Nearly 16% of smartphone users experience 'black holes' at least once a week
Are mobile operators really to blame for bad network coverage? Maybe not.
Are mobile operators really to blame for bad network coverage? Maybe not.


Smartphone penetration is continuously growing, and with it an area that is becoming more significant is the so called ‘mobile black hole’.

This is when you attempt to make a call and the connection to the network disappears. The signal returns after some time and the subscriber is able to make the call.The misconception of most mobile users is that the operator is to blame, and that the quality of the network is at fault.

According to research by Strand Consult, a study by the Danish Telecommunications Industry Association found that amongst customers calling from home, nearly 16% who use smartphones experience black holes at least once a week. For customers with ordinary phones that number drops to 8%.

It also pointed out that 27% of customers when calling away from home with smartphones experience black holes once a week. For customers with ordinary phones that number drops to 7%.

Another interesting fact was that 10% of all smartphone customers felt that their mobile coverage has deteriorated over the last two years.

This shows that the end user’s experience which has traditionally been the responsibility of the operator is shifting more towards the type of phones users use.

Smartphone technologies are increasingly the reason for mobile black holes, not the operator’s network. The reason could be due to the ever increasing competition in the smartphone market, leading manufacturers to release phones before they are thoroughly tested.

Hardware options cannot be altered during the lifecycle of the device, hence manufacturers can only attempt to correct errors through software updates once the customer has purchased a phone.
This allows phone manufacturers to pass the buck on product quality to operators and customers and to lessen their development costs.

Strand Consult warned that, ‘If mobile operators do not create a more nuanced debate about coverage, they will find their image will continue to degrade. Further mobile operators will find even worse economic consequences when the political and regulatory system makes them liable for ever new errors on smartphones.’

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