We've all been there at some point. We've pulled our smartphone out to make a call, to be met by the depressing no bars symbol and a note about a lack of service. Or you might have been merrily chatting away on the train, only to have your friend abruptly cut off as you hit a signal black spot.
If this is a familiar feeling to you, you're not alone. In fact, new data released this week by Ofcom revealed three out of ten people in the UK face problems with their mobile reception at least once a week.
What's more, 22 per cent of Brits said they had to put up with a dropped call at least once a week, while a fifth experienced a blocked call – when they have a signal, but the network is too busy for them to get through. Perhaps unsurprisingly, people in rural parts of the country were more likely to end up shaking their phone in frustration.
That's why the regulator has been keen to find out just what the quality of service in the UK is, and to this end, it's teamed up with RootMetrics to measure the performance of the country's big four networks.
It revealed EE is the best provider for call quality services, with 97 per cent of 2G/3G calls made in the second half of 2013 completed successfully. This compares with 95.3 per cent for O2, 94.5 per cent for Three and 92.6 per cent for Vodafone.
Unsurprisingly, people in urban areas were more likely to be successful, with O2 the best performer here, with 97.7 per cent of urban calls working.
Vodafone customers in rural areas are likely to experience problems, with fewer than four out of five calls (79.9 per cent) successful.
Overall though, the figures were positive, with three-quarters of Brits happy with their network provider. This does vary by location, however, as some 78 per cent of people in urban areas were satisfied with their mobile network, compared with 67 per cent in rural parts of the UK and 70 per cent in remote areas.