As technology has advanced in the world of smartphones, so too has our smartphone signal, proven by the introduction of 4G data most recently.
But even with this ever growing development of network coverage, we still find battling for a connection a time consuming task which always seems to rear its head at the worst possible moment.
Whether you’re trying to send a simple text, or get that email sent for your big meeting at work, signal loss is no laughing matter. But where in the UK is best for your smartphone’s signal, and where is worst? Let’s find out.
Take note that this article is built using the four most popular UK based networks (EE, O2, Vodafone and 3), other services may vary.
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You probably guessed this one. Being the Capital city of our great nation, and one of the World’s biggest and best cities, it would be downright shameful if London didn’t have 4G signal.
All of Greater London is bathed in the service, and it also reaches out as far as Reading, Crawley, Basingstoke and Milton Keynes, all without any disruption.
Rumour has it that London will also be one of the first cities on the planet to get 5G technology when the service is fully working, however that’s a long way off yet, so we wouldn’t worry about that too much yet!
Widely recognised as the second city of England, Birmingham is also covered in 4G network along with plenty of neighbouring districts including Leamington Spa, Stoke-on-Trent, Nottingham and Leicester.
Head North toward Uttoxeter and South to Worcester though and you may drop down to 3G levels, but it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself without signal when outdoors in the Midlands.
Two classic British cities in the Northwest, both Manchester and Liverpool are covered solidly by 4G data, and similarly to the Midlands, they also include a number of surrounding areas.
Sheffield, Leeds and even as far out as Doncaster draw the benefits of the 4G fun up North, all extending from these two cities draped in history and network signal.
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Head up to Northumberland and you shouldn’t be finding any 4G issues anytime soon, as long as you stick to the bigger towns in the area.
Newcastle sits alongside Middlesborough and Sunderland when it comes down to the 4G coverage, and all three areas have great network connections. Some smaller areas in the region do suffer slightly though, namely Billingham and Lanchester, both of which settle for 3G service.
The fifth biggest area of 4G network coverage actually comes as a bit of a surprise, but a pleasant one for sure, with Northern Ireland claiming our final spot.
Covering nearly half of the smallest UK nation, 4G service is accessible throughout Belfast all the way across to Londonderry and Omagh. It’s worth pointing out that 3 doesn’t list any 4G service in Northern Ireland, so best sticking with EE, Vodafone or O2 for now.
Want to learn more about what 4G is? Read all about 4G and 4G phones here.
Not too far from Leeds or Middlesborough, the Yorkshire Dales are not the place you want to get stranded if you’ve just got your smartphone.
EE and O2 offer limited 2G service, both with notable blackspots, whilst Vodafone and Three users will struggle to find service at all. Head down the road though toward Darlington or Burnley and you should soon find some signal.
Admittedly not the most populated area of the country, Newcastleton boasts one of the biggest British blackspots for mobile service in England.
The Kielder Forest Park and Northumberland National Park are both caught in this area which is ideal if you want to reconnect with nature. If you need 4G service though, the nearest place to go is Carlisle.
One of the more beautiful areas of the country, Exmoor boasts a stunning national park but lacks any 4G service for miles on end.
EE reportedly does boast consistent 2G service throughout the area, but areas like Wiveliscombe and Witheridge are still left wanting for service at the moment. The nearest 4G service can be found in Exeter, unless you head across the Bristol Channel to Cardiff, neither of which are short journeys.
Much of mid-Wales isn’t caught up with 4G signal yet, but the Cambrian Mountains are possibly the least covered area of Wales at the moment.
With no service coming from any of the four major providers, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to make many calls if you decide to take a trip to the area. Snowdonia also fares badly in the north of the country, with South Wales your best bet for 4G service.
The UK’s worst area for mobile network sits squarely in the Scottish highlands, with residents of Perth and Kinross suffering most from the lack of service in the area.
Due to the obvious terrain issues and poor weather, mobile service is heavily affected in the area, with a huge blackspot spread from as far south as Loch Lomond all the way up to just south of Durness. You’ll be lucky to find 4G anywhere northward of Aberdeen in Scotland, meaning a 4G tariff is literally useless in much of Scotland.
Written by Luke Hatfield