The limited mobile phone signal in the Sandy Lane, Cobham area has been an ongoing issue for local residents.
To demonstrate the extent of the problem, and to hold mobile phone companies to account, I prepared a short survey for Sandy Lane residents to complete. Hundreds of local residents took the time to feedback their views, which indicated 94.7% experience poor phone signal in the area and 91.0% support measures to improve the signal.
I presented these findings to the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, as well as the four main UK mobile phone providers: O2, Vodafone, Three and EE (smaller phone providers ‘piggyback’ off these main four. For example, Tesco Mobile uses O2 infrastructure.).
Subsequently, each phone provider has outlined the steps they are taking to improve mobile phone signal for their customers in the Sandy Lane area. You can find the details of their responses below:
Over summer 2023, Three installed a mobile phone mast on the corner of Sandy Lane and The Ridings. The site will provide both 4G and 5G connectivity to Three customers in the area. This mast is now scheduled to be activated between late December 2023 and early 2024.
O2 explained that, on Sandy Lane, signal strength is reduced due to the terrain of the area and distance from the serving site.
They have logged the request for more coverage in their system, and they are looking to deploy a new site south of Reed’s School to improve coverage in the Sandy Lane area.
O2 noted that there can be a time delay in their ability to upgrade or build new masts as such works are determined by a number of factors, from obtaining permission to build a site, finding a suitable new site (including landlord permissions), agreement from local community and the overall cost of the investment.
EE deployed their Networks team to drive a route of Sandy Lane to gain a better understanding of the signal challenges in the area.
EE also noted that signal strength is impacted due to dense tree and vegetation growth between the area and their local masts.
They are currently exploring whether they can adjust any of their existing masts to improve service in the area, such as tilting antennas. EE are also looking at whether a new site may be needed in the future.
Vodafone confirmed that the main issue affecting mobile signal in the Sandy Lane area is the local topology.
They instructed optimisation teams to make some uptilt changes to one of their sites to the west. Whilst this is currently being monitored, it is believed to have made some differences to the experience in the area.
If you live in Esher and Walton constituency and are experiencing issues with mobile phone signal, please write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org so I can look into it on your behalf.