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Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

Daisybank
Dabbler
Posts: 21
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Registered: ‎14-01-2017

Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

Bit of a weird one:

Mother-in-law (in her 80's) has Plusnet mobile and Plusnet Broadband - all on my account (because we look after her and her utilities etc).

We had a bit of an upset last week, when she received a text from the Dr (she is in the "vulnerable" category) inviting her for a flu jab and Covid Vaccine Booster. The only way of accepting, was to text back - but the (Android) text app kept throwing an error - which was stressing her out.

On visiting, we discovered, that while she usually got 2-3 bars of mobile signal in the house, it had dropped to zero, with the occasional 1 bar (2G only) if stood by a window. The error was therefore thrown by the text app timing out - because it couldn't respond to the text given there was no phone signal.

This is not a phone thing - we can reproduce this with all of our phones (which previously got a good indoor signal).

Checking the EE coverage map, I see this has now been updated to show, for her postcode - BA15 2JU - only OUTSIDE coverage.

We can't leave her medically cut off like this - so will either need to find an alternate provider that does have an indoor signal at her postcode OR, is it possible to get get a (Plusnet Internet) connected indoor booster?

Note: This may or may not be connected, but the EE signal has plummeted in most of the Bath area in recent weeks - at the same time as the EE coverage checker is now showing a sea of 5G coverage. So are the masts in the area being repurposed for 5G at the expense of 2/3/4G?

Thanks.

11 REPLIES 11
RealAleMadrid
Seasoned Champion
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Re: Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

@Daisybank  Change to a mobile provider that supports Wi-Fi calling. Plusnet mobile doesn't. I have next to no mobile signal indoors so use Wi-Fi calling to connect my mobile through my Broadband Wi-Fi. I have an Iphone, you would need to check that the Android phone offers the wi-fi calling function. There is nothing you can do to make the EE mobile signal better

Daisybank
Dabbler
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Registered: ‎14-01-2017

Re: Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

@RealAleMadrid Thanks, but this is my 85 year old mother-in-law.

 

I was kind of hoping that I could avoid changing mobile providers and buying an £800 iPhone (and then teach her how to use the bloody thing...) just so that she can respond to texts from her Doctor...

 

The signal used to be fine. Some change has since occurred that the signal is no longer any good - so my initial approach, is to try and get that fixed (in some way) first.

RealAleMadrid
Seasoned Champion
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Re: Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

@Daisybank  You have to accept that EE may be making changes to the mobile network in the area, the signal strength may get better or it may not you just don't know. There's nothing that you or Plusnet can do about it so don't expect any quick fix from them.

By the way my Iphone is pretty old and didn't cost much. I believe there are some very modestly priced Android phones that support W-Fi calling. Your mother-in-laws phone may already be able to do it. Have a look at this thread I saw recently.....

https://community.plus.net/t5/Tech-Help-Software-Hardware-etc/WIFI-Calling-smartphone-wanted/m-p/182... 

Daisybank
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Registered: ‎14-01-2017

Re: Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

Thanks @RealAleMadrid - that is a really handy link!

I see that EE do support WiFi calling: https://ee.co.uk/help/help-new/getting-started-and-upgrading/setting-up-wifi-calling/setting-up-wifi... and conveniently, her phone is a Huwaei Y6, which as far as I can tell, does support WiFi calling!

I'll give that a go and report back.

In the meantime, does anyone from Plusnet Mobile know if engineering work in the Bath area (that is impacting the signal) is ongoing?

 

Daisybank
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Registered: ‎14-01-2017

Re: Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

Uh, oh...

While EE offer WiFi calling, I now read that Plusnet don't - so looks like I am off in search of a new provider...

Gandalf
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Registered: ‎21-04-2017

Re: Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

@Daisybank 

I’m sorry to see the worry and the signal issues your mother in law has had with her mobile.

Using EE’s coverage checker Here you can check for any service problems or maintenance by typing in the postcode as normal and clicking on the check status button. I’ve just checked with the postcode you’ve given above^ and there’s no known issues showing. 

Sadly we don’t support WiFi calling on our network (and we’ve no plans to share if we will do) so it does look like you’ll need to find her a new provider who does. Sad

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
Daisybank
Dabbler
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Registered: ‎14-01-2017

Re: Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

@Gandalf thanks for your concern, it is appreciated.

The problem with EE's coverage checker, is that you now have to input BOTH postcode and phone model until it draws the coverage map. Yes, you and I know that we can select any old mobile phone model - but this approach is hardly helpful for the elderly or those who are neuro diverse - a big disability fail IMHO.


I get that you have no plans to share re WiFi calling - but are you able to share any plans re 800MHz band 20?  I think that would help, a lot, in this case.

In the meantime, I see that it is possible to buy an EE second hand signal box - and with a free EE SIM, get it enabled for Plusnet. Of course it is unsupported, but it is my only option short of transferring everyone (I have 4 phones on my Plusnet Mobile account - and don't want to mess around with multiple contracts) over to Smarty who, as a Three MVNO do have WiFi calling. 

I know what you are thinking though "Three - good luck with that..."

MisterW
Superuser
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Re: Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

I get that you have no plans to share re WiFi calling - but are you able to share any plans re 800MHz band 20?  I think that would help, a lot, in this case.

band 20 coverage won't help with calls and texts as it's 4g only

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

RichardB
Aspiring Champion
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Registered: ‎19-11-2008

Re: Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

Three and EE historically share sites so if EE are having signal strength issues in Bath, Three may also be having the same issues.
Vodafone and O2 also tend to mast share.
What does the Vodafone coverage show for the locality?
In addition, Vodafone and O2 use lower frequencies for 2G and 3G compared to EE and Three, so indoor coverage can often be better.
If indoor coverage is available on O2, their GiffGaff MVNO is price competative with Plusnet.
Regards
Richard
enlliserve
Hooked
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Registered: ‎02-02-2019

Re: Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

Looks like both 3G and 2G are weak.
3G is being phased out over the next 18 months on EE and the first stage has been to reduce bandwidth on 3G sites. However, 4G should be fine in that location
RichardB
Aspiring Champion
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Registered: ‎19-11-2008

Re: Zero indoor signal (was fine) are boosters available?

Ah I had not spotted the postcode in the first post.
The Vodafone coverage checker reports good 2G and 3G coverage.
Vodafones Talkmobile offers unlimited calls for £7 per month
Asda mobile are an MVNO which now use Vodafone and have a talk and text package for £4 per month.
If it was me I would buy an ASDA SIM and try it.
https://mobile.asda.com/bundles/talk-and-text