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Home / Advice & Information / Mobile / Get The Most Out Of Your Mobile Service

Get The Most Out Of Your Mobile Service

This page contains:

  • What can cause poor outdoor mobile coverage?

  • Why is my coverage at home or indoors bad? 

  • Improving coverage at home 

  • Find the right plan for you 

  • Do I need 5G? 

  • How do I reduce my mobile data usage? 

While mobile technology aims to make life easier for everyone, we can run into unexpected problems – particularly when it comes to slow devices and coverage issues. This guide will ensure you can get the most out of your mobile service.  

What can cause poor outdoor mobile coverage?

A certain level of coverage is required to make a call, send a text, or connect to the internet. Many things can impact our mobile coverage and our coverage map shows mobile phone coverage and signal levels throughout the country.   

The quality of your connection can be affected by: 

  • Travelling through a mountainous area or valley 
  • Near-by dense foliage  
  • Distance from a mobile phone mast 
  • The density of mobile phone masts on your network 
  • How many people are using the mobile network in the same area, at the same time 
  • Which technology you are connected to (e.g. 4G or 5G) 

The type of mobile you are using can also affect the voice calls or data access. The most modern devices will outperform those more basic models that are several years old.  

ComReg provides an on-line facility to allow the public to view details of the mobile masts throughout Ireland (GSM 3G and 4G).  This tool is called Siteviewer and may be used to determine the Mobile Network Operator mobile masts in an area. Access is available at Siteviewer. 

Why is my coverage at home or indoors bad? 

You may also notice that your mobile coverage at home is not always optimal. This may be due to several factors, such as: 

  • Insulation  
  • Double and triple glazed windows  
  • Metal framed windows 
  • Thickness of walls 

ComReg’s research has found that building materials used to improve insulation in the home will often limit mobile coverage.  

Improving coverage at home 

The first thing to do if looking to improve your mobile coverage at home, is to see what mobile operators offer the best level of coverage in your area. Next would be to enable Wi-Fi calling if supported by your provider and your device, and lastly could be to further boost coverage with a device like a mobile repeater.  

These devices are designed to boost signal within the home, but it is incredibly important that consumers only buy legally compliant products. 

Find the right plan for you 

Many mobile plans limit your call minutes, your data usage, or the number of texts you can send per month. If you exceed these limits, you will run out of credit before your next top-up date or have to pay extra. It is worth shopping around the find the deal that best meets your needs. 

For in contract bill pay customers, you are entitled to Best Tariff Advice from your current mobile provider before the end of your contract. You are also entitled Best Tariff Information once per year. This should provide you with information on your usage as well as a recommendation on what plans best suit your needs.  

If you are continuously exceeding your plan’s limits it may be a sign that you need a different plan to better suit your usage needs. Visit our Compare Tool or more information. 

Do I need 5G? 

Not every mobile phone operator in Ireland offers 5G plans, and, while it offers faster data speeds, it can be more expensive. If you feel that your current 4G connection is too slow and limits your mobile usage, then investing in a 5G plan may be worthwhile. 

It is important to note that not every operator offers 5G plans yet, and only certain mobile devices are 5G enabled. We first recommend checking that your mobile device is 5G enabled, before shopping around to find the best deal on available 5G plans. 

How do I reduce my mobile data usage? 

If you have a limit on the amount of mobile data you can use or are worried that you might hit your fair usage limit, then there several ways you can reduce the amount of data that you use.  

Some common ways to quickly reduce mobile data usage: 

  • Turn on data saver mode  
  • Download large files, apps, or updates over Wi-Fi rather than on mobile data 
  • Do the same with music and video streaming services 
  • Certain apps download video or other content in the background – check for an option to limit this to Wi-Fi only 
  • Turn off your data roaming when abroad 
  • Use video calling over Wi-Fi 

Wi-Fi calling lets you make and receive calls and send messages over a Wi-Fi connection, such as your home broadband. This feature requires a Wi-Fi connection and Wi-Fi calling must be enabled on a compatible device.

Messaging Apps vs SMS  

While text messages or SMS messages are still a popular form of sending messages, the rise in instant communication has seen several different apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more become the primary mode of communication for many.  

While both serve the same purpose, they use different services to send messages. SMS messages are transmitted by your mobile operator’s network. This means you don’t need an internet connection to send an SMS, but you do need mobile coverage and an active subscription with a mobile provider.  

WhatsApp and other instant messaging services rely on an active internet connection. This could be a mobile internet connection (3G, 4G or 5G) or a Wi-Fi connection to send your message. If sent using mobile data, then it will count towards your overall data limit. 

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