One in three tasks, one in seven calls fail aboard trains in UK claims new research

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One in three mobile internet tasks and one in seven voice calls attempted on commuter train routes in UK gets failed, new research claims.

According to a recent study conducted by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS), almost one in four 3G data packets and more than 37 percent of 4G data packets travelling across UK’s major mobile operator networks failed to reach their intended destination.

The survey was conducted across the UK’s ten most frequented commuting routes to find out how popular mobile service providers performed on each.

The study found that Vodafone provided the fastest and most reliable 3G data service, while EE came out on top for 4G connections.

The research also revealed that weak mobile Internet connection was not the only problem that commuters were facing, but 14 per cent of all voice calls made while on trains gets failed. Use of 2G networks to route calls and half-rate codecs to decode voice call data by mobile network operators seems to be the key reasons for poor call quality.

The mobile survey coverage company found that O2 used 2G networks more than 60 per cent of the time, and half-rate codecs were used for nearly a third of all calls. While EE relied on 2G network 42 percent of the time and used half-rate codecs to decode only three per cent of the calls, Vodafone fell back on its 2G network 40 percent of the time, and used half-rate codecs for eight percent of calls.

Three was named as the most reliable of the networks for calls.

As regard to commuter stations, the research found that London’s Kings Cross St Pancras had the worst connectivity of all of the stations tested, with an average of 99 voice and packet data failures, followed by Radlett with 53 and Kentish Town with 43 failures across all four networks.

“Leaves on the track, the wrong kind of snow, having to stand up all the way to work and back – commuters have enough to contend with without the kind of mobile connectivity problems we’re revealing today,” said Paul Carter, CEO of GWS.

“It’s hard to believe we’re in 2014 and in a situation where a trained wizard would have a tough time getting a signal on the Hogwart’s Express while it’s sitting in St Pancras.”