Have you ever wondered why your mobile phone signal mysteriously disappears once you step inside a building? Sam Jackman from Shared Access in Lymington explains why

Whether it's a busy office, vibrant shopping centre or a serene museum, the frustration of dropped calls or lost internet connectivity is universal.

We rely on our phones to keep us connected at all times, so when they fail us - with repercussions ranging from mere annoyance to potentially critical situations - the impact is palpable.

Several factors contribute to this phenomenon:

  1. Mobile phones operate by transmitting and receiving radio waves to and from antennas typically situated on masts or rooftops. Anything obstructing these waves, such as other neighbouring buildings, can disrupt the signal and result in dropped calls or a complete loss of connectivity.
  2. Buildings located further from antennas invariably experience weaker signals, leading to challenges in making calls or connecting online. In essence, signal strength diminishes over distance.
  3. Certain building materials commonly used in construction, including energy-efficient glass, concrete, and steel, can pose barriers to mobile signals. While these materials bolster a building’s environmental credentials, they can inadvertently hinder signal penetration, exacerbating connectivity issues.
  4. Indoor mobile coverage often varies among different network operators due to their use of distinct frequency bands. Some frequencies navigate challenging materials or building layouts more effectively than others.

In addition, there’s the subject of ‘capacity’ – or lack of. As evidenced when your mobile phone shows four or five bars of connectivity but you can’t actually connect or make a call.

This happens when a network in unable to manage multiple concurrent connections or data transfers. In short, too many people are trying to connect at the same time and the network can’t cope.

Fortunately, there's a solution to address poor or non-existent mobile coverage indoors.

Professional installation of a Distributed Antenna System (DAS) or cellular repeater solution effectively brings the mobile network operators inside a building ensuring comprehensive coverage in all areas, including lifts, basements, and underground car parks.

From a commercial perspective, provision of robust, uninterrupted mobile connectivity enhances user satisfaction and augments asset values.

And from a user’s perspective, always-on mobile connectivity only improves efficiencies and wellbeing, it can also, quite literally, mean the difference between life and death.