Mobile industry fails office workers with poor signals

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UK businesses are losing £33 million a week from poor mobile phone signals available to their staff, according to research from ip.access

UK businesses are losing £33 million a week from poor mobile phone coverage, as 45 percent of employees are spending an hour or more searching for a reliable mobile phone signal to make work-related calls.

EE costsResearch from small cell solution provider ip.access shows that UK office workers are collectively spending 2.53 million hours a week searching for better mobile coverage, with 61 percent of company employees claiming to have a “poor” or “variable” mobile reception at their place of work.

Even 50 percent of telecoms professionals told ip.access that the mobile signal in their offices was inadequate. News of the poor coverage comes as the mobile industry consolidates, with the acquisition of EE by BT and moves by Three to acquire O2.

The mobile industry recently signed a deal with the government to improve mobile blackspots, promising to spend £5 billion collectively to improve matters, but only by 2017. It is clear however that mobile users are not getting the service they are paying for.

The ip.access research, which surveyed 2,000 UK office workers at junior and senior levels from varying company sizes, revealed that 62 percent of employees in the finance sector were suffering from poor or variable mobile phone reception, and 59 percent of government or public service professionals faced the same problem.

There is a fundamental issue here for businesses and mobile operators,” said Gavin Ray, SVP for products and marketing at ip.access. “It is pretty amazing that in an age where we have fridges that can tell you you’re out of milk, we are still faced with the age-old problem of patchy indoor mobile signals. Looking at these numbers it’s clearly the new time-thief for business.”

Ray said: “While companies across the UK are employing the latest technology to streamline processes and boost revenue, a reliable mobile signal has become a basic necessity, and the lack of one is having a detrimental effect on the productivity and flexibility of companies’ workforces. This surely feeds into missed revenue and growth opportunities.”

The research implies that mid-sized companies of 500 people are losing £2,800 a week from employees spending an hour or more hunting for a mobile signal, a figure that shows the economic value of solving the problem and a positive reason for operators to build and develop new solutions for the people they are supposed to be serving.