2G mobiles better than smartphones in countryside

Say goodbye to Facebook and Twitter - if it's reliability you're after, go 2G.

Constantly getting no bars on your fancy new dual-core smartphone? Ofcom, the UK's communication regulator, reccomends trading it in for basic 2G phone like the Nokia 3310s of yesteryear.

In a report commissioned by Ofcom on how carriers advertise their networks' signal coverage, smartphones obviously came out on top when it came to web browsing (remember WAP?) and multimedia features, but lagged behind their doddery predecessors when it came to the actual business of making and receiving calls outside of cities. Part of the research saw Ofcom staffers driving around in Devon (picked as an example of rural Britain) hunting for signal, and being left wanting by their smarter handsets:

"As would be expected, all 2G operators have widespread coverage of the roads that were surveyed with relatively few [dead]-spots," says the report. "3G coverage is much lower on the roads driven, likely reflecting the stage of network roll out in Devon at the time of the study."

Studying the signal availability in one county and then applying that wisdom to the whole country isn't how we were taught to do experiments at school, but Ofcom back their findings up with some "desk-based research", and found that if what you want is a phone for making calls, 2G is, counter-intuitively, the way forward.

Via: Ofcom

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