Phone signals on London trains are awful: Study

A study conducted recently has revealed that the state of mobile connectivity on London trains is really shocking; this statement stands true both for trains going out of the city or coming into the city.

The said study has been carried out by Global Wireless Solutions or GWS. During the study, GWS tested ten busiest commuter routes in London rigorously and came to know that 1 in every 7 voice calls and 1 in every 3 mobile internet jobs on trains fails.

Each of the top three telecommunications company in London, Vodafone, O2 and EE, rely on the older half-rate (HR) codecs and 2G networks for covering commuters. What this does is that makes the call quality poor and results in dropping of several data packets.

According to GWS’ study, after analysing the networks of four major operators in the UK, it has been found that as much as 37% of all 4G data packets and 23% of all 3G data packets taking a trip through them (the said networks) fail to reach their intended destination.

When testing the network of O2, GWS’ engineers found that they are on 2G for over 60% of the entire time spent. That’s not all; O2 was also found to be using HR codecs for managing as much as 28% of all calls made by the engineers when the test was underway.

EE was found to be relying on 2G network 42% of the testing phase, but used HR codecs only for decoding 3% of test calls. Vodafone depended on 2G network 40% of the testing phase and used HR codecs for handling 8% of all calls made by the engineers during the test.

The study concluded that Three, an operator that doesn’t have any 2G network, is currently the best network for individuals who love talking when travelling. In addition, GWS’ study revealed that people using Vodafone get the most comprehensive 3G data service and people using EE are served with the most reliable 4G data service.

Another important revelation made by the study is that engineers representing GWS experienced 25% of all data job failures when on trains in stations, while 20% of the failures took place when they were on trains running on open stretches of railway track. Voice calls, according to the study, however, tend to fail more often when the train is on an open track.

Seeing the current situation it can be said that things can only be better for mobile connectivity on London trains. The CEO of GWS Paul carter said that it would be a great thing if rail operators, station masters and networks come together and start working to improve mobile connectivity for rail users.

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