You'll never talk alone: Liverpool stakes claim as Britain's chattiest city

10 October 2019

People in Liverpool spend more time chatting on their mobile phones than those in other major cities, new Ofcom research reveals.

Our Mobile Matters report looked at how around 150,000 people used their Android phone between 1 January and 31 March 2019. It sheds new light on people’s experience of making calls and getting online on the move.

People have been spending more time on mobile phone calls in recent years. But our previous research has also shown that younger people find making calls daunting, and prefer to use messaging services such as WhatsApp.

And our new research reveals a quarter of people made fewer than five mobile calls a month, with 6% of people not making any mobile calls at all. Of those who did pick up the phone, almost two-thirds ended the call in less than 90 seconds.

Comparing call times

We compared how long people in 10 major UK cities spend on conversations on their mobile.

Liverpudlians came top, spending almost seven minutes on the average call – more than 40% longer than Londoners, who came second; and twice as long as people in Bradford, who had the shortest conversations.

On average, Liverpudlians spend six minutes and 51 seconds on the phone. In Bradford you'll take a speedy three minutes and 15 seconds.

Online on the move

People increasingly expect to use their mobile to get online wherever they are – whether to scroll through social media, use online banking or stream their favourite TV show.

The new research shows they spend most of their time online connected to wifi (69%), rather than using 3G or 4G. This helps to explain why more than half of people (60%) use less than 1GB of mobile data a month, and only one in 10 use 5GB or more.

When people are connected to a mobile network, they are mainly connected to 4G.

Mobile data use peaks between 5pm and 6pm, as rush-hour commuters catch up with the latest news and social media updates using their phone network.

People use their mobile in different ways around the country. But whether it's for going online or having longer chats, a good signal has never been more important. So, people can take several practical steps to boost their reception and stay connected. Ian Macrae, Ofcom's Director of Market Intelligence

Boosting mobile reception

While more than nine in ten UK properties can get basic mobile reception from all four mobile networks, some people still struggle for a signal at home.

So, as well as measures to boost mobile coverage, we’ve published a new guide on improving your mobile reception indoors. There are alternative ways to make and receive calls if you have a poor mobile signal:

  • Wifi calling – a feature that allows you to use your smartphone to make calls over your broadband network if mobile reception is patchy;
  • Indoor boosters – small pieces of kit that connect to your mobile provider’s network via your broadband connection.