Why do I get French mobile signals in Deal?
Whenever we go for walks on the cliffs between Dover and Deal our phones assume we are in France and switch to French time. Why are mobile phone signals from France, 26 miles away, stronger than Uk-based signals?
Because the phone signal is unobstructed across the sea, unlike across the land, where the terrain and buildings can disrupt it. David Jackson
The UK networks don’t cover the area properly as there are hills in the way and there is little business case for the mobile companies to cover it because not many people live there. Dover is the nearest big town, but the centre is at the bottom of the cliffs, so the signals don’t propagate through the chalk to St Margaret’s, North Foreland, etc.
The French networks cover the area as you have line of sight and signal direct to multiple cell sites in Dunkirk, Calais and Gravelines. Your phone chooses any network it can reach, so will choose those. You will probably find the signal isn’t good enough to make a call, but text messages get through. Russian Tractors
British masts are typically 50ft tall, compared to 80ft in Europe and even higher in mountainous regions. discuz
Planning restraints are the reason for smaller masts in the UK. The phone companies would dearly love to build bigger masts, but authority restrictions (especially parish councils) block applications for larger masts that would provide broader cover. This is one of the reasons why rural areas have such poor coverage and probably why the coast around Dover and Deal do also. I wonder if such restraints exist in France? Probably not. feefleur
It isn’t the height of the masts, it is the waveband used by the mobile operators that governs the distance the signal travels. Most modern handsets are designed to use several wavebands. The lower end frequencies are better for high signal strength that travels further and can penetrate buildings, while higher frequencies are better for high-speed connections but provide weaker signals. Most French mobile companies run their 3G signals at the lower end, hence you can pick them up in Dover, whereas in the UK they tend to use higher frequency for speed. paddydog
Because of the EU laws of physics! When we have only British laws of physics, the French radiations won’t be allowed to reach the beautiful white cliffs. Loguc13