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Best mobile network

Best mobile network


Postby AndyATSmith » Tue Jul 27, 2021 3:32 pm

I'm looking into getting a new mobile phone and I'm just wondering which network is best to go with in regards to coverage in Scotland. I like to vary where I walk but, being based in the west side of the central belt, I suppose most of my walking will be south of Fort William. Would love to explore further afield but with no access to private transport, opportunities to do so are limited! As I said in another thread, I do quite a lot of walking alone and so it would be reassuring to have a fairly reliable means of communicating with the outside world in case of emergencies. I have a Garmin GPS which I believe I can pair up to a phone in order to enable live tracking via the Garmin Connect app, which would hopefully allow a family member to keep an eye on where I am.
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Re: Best mobile network

Postby davekeiller » Tue Jul 27, 2021 8:59 pm

Probably better with either O2 or EE rather than 3. The Virtual operators on their networks (Giffgaff, plusnet etc.) have equivalent coverage for less money.
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Re: Best mobile network

Postby WalkWithWallace » Wed Jul 28, 2021 8:32 am

Vodafone is typically the best coverage, if you're after voice calls and SMS texts. But more likely EE for 4G mobile data, which you'll need to send your location via your phone.

Whilst just about every summit gets a signal, it's when you drop off the side of mountains down to the bealach and glens, you will struggle to get a signal. So I wouldn't completely rely on your phone. Plus it drains your battery quicker too if constantly on, particularly when you're out of signal. Handy to use flight mode to preserve battery and or carry a small powerbank to charge your phone.
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Re: Best mobile network

Postby rgf101 » Wed Jul 28, 2021 9:04 am

Vodafone has long been considered to have the best coverage. VOXI, Virgin Mobile, Asda Mobile, Lebara Mobile and Talkmobile use the Vodafone network, so you could choose from those. But coverage is still patchy and can't necessarily be relied on.
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Re: Best mobile network

Postby iain_atkinson_1986 » Wed Jul 28, 2021 10:10 am

I doubt many phones do it but when I did the Cuillin one of the guides said he had a phone with dual SIM slots so he could have two different providers and maximise coverage. Maybe worth looking into?
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Re: Best mobile network

Postby davekeiller » Wed Jul 28, 2021 10:27 am

Dual SIM is pretty much standard now.
Most newish Samsung phones have a slot that takes 2 SIM cards, and some networks also support virtual SIM.
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Re: Best mobile network

Postby Alex W » Thu Jul 29, 2021 1:53 pm

I use EE and am always pleasantly surprised by the amount of coverage I get. I've got 4G rather than 5G. I frequently hear the ping of the phone when coming into range I get my e-mails and texts arriving. It can seem quite remote and yet there is still coverage.
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Re: Best mobile network

Postby scogem » Thu Jul 29, 2021 6:24 pm

I did a Photography day course in Loch Lomond a few weeks ago. I stayed in a hotel close to the loch and never got a signal once with EE. Everyone I spoke with recommended Vodafone.

I recently did part of the West Highland Way getting to Loch Lomond and had a signal most of the time, again I was with EE. Pleasantly surprised. The weather was very hot and sky was clear this time.
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Re: Best mobile network

Postby rockhopper » Thu Jul 29, 2021 10:10 pm

I was previously with O2 but getting a signal was often not possible. Am currently with plusnet/EE and have been very surprised at how often I can get a good signal frequently with 4g on summits. Not so great in remote glens though but that's to be expected.
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Re: Best mobile network

Postby BigTed » Wed Sep 01, 2021 8:45 pm

EE has signal at the door of the Feshie bothy. Giffgaff not until up the hill with line of sight to KIngussie. In general Giffgaff seems poor in the highlands.
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Re: Best mobile network

Postby Marty_JG » Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:58 pm

In fairness GG do seem to have a fairly comprehensive coverage map and it does show a lot of blank spots in hilly places.

https://www.giffgaff.com/coverage-checker
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Re: Best mobile network

Postby AndyATSmith » Thu Sep 02, 2021 6:55 am

Apologies for the long delay in responding to this thread - other things got in the way of me seeing to my phone and then I forgot that I had posted this message!

In the end I went with a single SIM Vodafone contract though I've decided to ditch the idea of trying to use the Garmin Connect app and instead I'll buy an InReach Mini which I feel is a safer option for tracking and emergencies.

Thanks everyone for all your helpful advice! 😊

Andy
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