Network FAQs

Our network

What should I do if I've got a network problem?

If you’ve been able to use your phone in the same area before and you now have a problem you can check the live network checker to see if there is a current network issue causing the problem. Network problems could be due to a number of reasons such as planned maintenance or improvement works, adverse weather or vandalism.

You can also download and use our My Network app (if you have an iPhone or Android smartphone) to check the coverage and tell us about any problems.

If there isn't a current issue then you may need to contact us so we can investigate further.

Why can't I get a signal on my phone when other people in the same place can?

Because mobile phones work using radio signals sometimes a small change in position can affect the signal. However, it is possible the phone has a fault and if your experience continues you should contact us.

Finally, different phones have different size and shape antennas so it's possible that two phones may show different levels of signal, network load and congestion can also affect this.

If your friends are on a different network, their network might be using a mast that is closer than one of ours

Why does my voice sound muffled, like I'm talking underwater?

Occasionally your phone may pick up a faulty connection in the network. This may distort or impact the voice quality in different ways. If this happens, cancelling your call and re-dialling should resolve it but if that doesn't then please contact us.

Why does my phone sometimes disconnect itself during a call?

Sometimes when you're talking and on the move your phone switches between masts. This is normal and it usually happens smoothly. But sometimes the connection gets lost during the switch, so the call gets disconnected. When you call back you'll be connected to the mast that is in your range and the signal will be working again.

But what if I’m not moving?

This normally happens when the phone is on the edge of a coverage area or the call failure is at the other end.

Why do I sometimes drop a call or have difficulty sending emails on the train when people on other networks don't?

Getting a good signal at all times on train journeys is difficult for all mobile networks. Putting up masts along an entire route is a challenge as we have to work around tunnels and cuttings. Different operators will have built their masts at different locations which can mean that coverage can vary along the train route

In addition, modern trains have solar efficient windows that have a metal film and this can also reduce the amount of signal getting into the train.

Some operator may also have deployed equipment on trains to enhance the mobile signal in the carriages.

We asked an independent company to test our network. They found that the quality and coverage of our network matches that of our competitors (on routes tested).

Why do my calls go straight to voicemail instead of ringing, even when I don’t have a missed call?

Sometimes the mobile network cannot find your phone on the network to connect an incoming call which can lead to it going straight to voicemail. This can happen when there is a reduced or recent loss of signal or if the mast you’re connected to is congested with other calls.

If the problem continues, you may need to contact us. Before you do it might help to check the network and phone settings on your mobile phone to make sure you don't have the 'divert all calls' setting on.

Why do texts sometimes take ages to be delivered?

Sometimes there are more texts being sent than the masts in the area or that our network can handle so you may see a delay in message delivery.

This usually happens if you are in a crowded place such as a football stadium or a festival, or if it’s a festive time like Christmas or New Year as many people might be trying to send texts at the same time.

If it's happening where or when you think it shouldn't, you can contact us and let us know about the issue.

Why do my text messages arrive all at once when they should have got to me earlier?

Sometimes when you don't have signal for a length of time, your text messages can't be delivered to you. This means that when your phone does find a signal, they all come through at once.

Where can I find details of your traffic management policy?

Traffic Management is the term used to describe a range of technical practices used to manage data across networks. The Internet, for example, requires some Traffic Management to ensure efficient operation for all users and to prevent a reduction in service.

Our network is a shared resource, so we use Traffic Management to maximise performance and deliver the best quality of experience to our customers.

To ensure that our customers are clearly informed about this, we support the Broadband Stakeholders Group voluntary Code of Practice on Traffic Management Transparency.

For further details of our Traffic Management policy, please see our KFI (Key Facts Indicator).