Report: UK businesses lose over £30M a week due to poor mobile signals

UK businesses are losing £32.7 million (€44 million/$439.8 million) a week as 43 per cent of employees spend an hour or more searching for reliable mobile phone signals to make work-related calls.

This is one of the key findings of a survey of 2,000 UK office workers at junior and senior levels from varying company sizes. The survey was carried out by OnePoll on behalf of ip.access, which it should be noted has a vested interest here as it provides small cell solutions for businesses.

Nonetheless, the report does highlight the ongoing problem with indoor coverage that affects businesses and consumers alike. It claims that UK office workers are collectively spending 2.53 million hours a week searching for better mobile coverage, with 61 per cent of company employees saying they have poor or variable mobile reception at their place of work.

"There is a fundamental issue here for businesses and mobile operators," said Gavin Ray, SVP products and marketing at ip.access. "It is pretty amazing that in an age where we have fridges that can tell you you're out of milk; we are still faced with the age-old problem of patchy indoor mobile signal. Looking at these numbers it's clearly the new time-thief for business."

The research data also showed that 42 per cent of enterprise users are not aware that there are technologies available that can improve poor mobile phone signal in their place of work, with only 15 per cent having heard of small cells as a viable solution. The research also found that 62 per cent of employees in the finance sector were suffering from poor or variable mobile phone reception and 59 per cent of government or public service professionals face the same problem.

Small cells are certainly one way to improve indoor wireless signals, along with Wi-Fi and distributed antenna systems (DAS), and are gaining in popularity among operators: according to Infonetics Research in a report from June 2014, 4G femtocell and enterprise small cell revenue will climb to $2.3 billion (€2 billion) in 2018, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 77 per cent from 2013 to 2018.

Mobile operators globally are launching small cells within homes, offices, and in public spaces to improve access to 3G and LTE networks by enhancing coverage and capacity.

For more:
- see this release from ip.access

Related Articles:
Dell'Oro: LTE macro and small cell RAN market to exceed $24B by 2019
Vodafone and JCDecaux sign global agreement to roll out small cells
ABI Research: Small cell backhaul market to exceed US$5B by 2019
Ericsson: Wireless backhaul comparable to fibre in small cells
BT includes 'free' LTE and Wi-Fi in new business mobile plans