For most of us, getting proper indoor coverage in our homes and workplaces is more important than knowing how far and wide the carrier’s network spans. To choose the best carrier for indoor coverage, determine the strongest signal strength in the locations that matter to you.
One way to do this is to ask colleagues and neighbors how satisfied they are with their mobile carrier. That discussion will help you shortlist providers that are successful at both your workplace and home. In the end, it is the proximity of your space to a network transmitter that will determine your experience.
Another approach would be to look at the spectrum a network uses. Low-frequency signals (and high wavelengths) have greater penetrative power, but this discussion has little real-world utility. If your indoor access point is in the basement or behind several walls, getting indoor coverage is going to be a challenge.
That said, most mobile service providers have a way to improve your indoor coverage. One way is 4G calling, also known as VoLTE technology, while the second is Wi-Fi calling.
What Is 4G and Wi-Fi Calling?
Initially, 4G technology was only used for Internet connectivity. Today, however, nearly every smartphone supports voice calling over 4G. Using this feature, you can make phone calls using your provider’s 4G networks, and the experience is exceptionally satisfying since it removes any blind spots indoors. For optimum results, however, both parties on a call need to have 4G calling enabled.
If you are set on making a workspace out of your basement, just make sure you at least have good Wi-Fi there. Using Wi-Fi calling, you should be able to augment your call quality and send text messages using the strength of the Wi-Fi network.
Best UK Networks for Indoor Coverage
When it comes to indoor coverage, there’s no straight answer for which mobile network is best. A major determining factor is which network has the closest transmitter to your home or office. Given how you can boost indoor coverage with 4G and Wi-Fi calling, these factors play a role in deciding which networks to consider.
Note that many providers like BT Mobile, Sky Mobile, and even Virgin Mobile all use the networks of the four major UK mobile providers, making them comparable to the same network.
Vodafone is one of the most well-known and oldest mobile providers in the UK. They have focused on providing coverage, including 4G, across a broad geographic region to reach as many customers as possible. Several of Vodafone’s plans include 4G and Wi-Fi calling, making it a smart choice if you struggle with indoor coverage from other providers. Just make sure to select a plan with these 4G calling and Wi-Fi calling features.
EE is known for its 4G speeds and widespread coverage. While the technology used by EE should seemingly make it more challenging to get indoor coverage, most EE plans include 4G calling and Wi-Fi calling. EE’s fast 4G speeds make for exceptional indoor coverage as long as you are in an area with 4G coverage and your mobile supports the feature. As always, read the fine print to confirm that these features are included in your specific plan.
O2 has had a strong 4G network for years and has been steadily building its 5G network. When it comes to indoor coverage, O2 is comparable to Vodafone. While being close to a transmitter can give you excellent interior coverage, chances are you’ll need to use the 4G calling or Wi-Fi calling feature. The good news is that O2 offers these features to all of its monthly customers, excluding O2 PAYG plans, free of cost. All you need to do is make sure your device supports these features.
Of the major mobile providers, Three is lagging when it comes to 4G coverage. It also varies from other providers by transmitting using high frequency, which makes it challenging to get indoor coverage. While Three does provide 4G calling and Wi-Fi calling to its customers, you need to be in an area with relatively strong 4G coverage to get decent indoor coverage.
So Which Mobile Network to Choose?
To determine which mobile network to choose, you need to figure out which network has a transmitter close to your home or office where you need indoor coverage and offers features like 4G and Wi-Fi calling. EE has the most telecom towers in the UK, which often makes it a good choice for coverage indoors.
O2 and Vodafone have similar 4G coverage and offer both features to improve their indoor coverage. The lagging 4G network from Three is discouraging for indoor coverage, but it could still be a viable option if you live or work near a transmitter, so don’t rule it out completely.
Determining which network to choose will take some asking around and a bit of research, but there are options available that can get you the mobile coverage you need.
Written by Scott Weathers