Mobile coverage: Qualitative research
This report provides feedback on qualitative research carried out in June 2017 across all four nations of the UK, which explored the experiences and impact of poor mobile phone network coverage among residential consumers and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) consumers of mobile phones. The research consulted with participants in two types of areas. Participants in ‘Areas of poor or no coverage’ experience generally poor mobile phone signal coverage at home and/or when out in surrounding areas to where they live or work. Participants in ‘Areas of good coverage’ experience generally good mobile phone signal coverage at home and/or when out in surrounding areas to where they live or work.
The principle objective of the research was to establish which coverage issues were the most problematic for consumers, the impact of each of these issues on affected consumers and the types of geographical areas and use cases where these issues are most likely to occur.
The research consisted of 18 ninety-minute focus group discussions. Thirteen of the groups were with participants in areas of poor or no coverage, out of which eight were with residential consumers and five were with SME consumers. The remaining five groups were with participants in areas of good coverage, out of which three were with residential consumers (including one group of Holidaymakers who regularly visit certain National Parks for weekends and holidays) and two were with SME consumers. Each group typically consisted of between six and eight participants and contained a mix of men and women, all of whom were mobile phone users with a mix of different mobile phone network operators (in areas where a choice of network with adequate coverage is available).