The number of adults with a mobile phone has reached 98 per cent with smartphone penetration now 83 per cent according to new research published by communications watchdog ComReg.

The survey looking into people’s experience and perceptions of their mobile phone service found that 77 per cent of people are happy with their coverage at home while 11 per cent are dissatisfied.

The urban rural divide was to the fore in the happiness stakes with 82 per cent of those living in towns saying they were happy with their coverage compared with just 62 per cent of people living in very rural areas.

Across the State, 30 per cent of those polled said they had experienced service issues at least once in the past month with 51 per cent saying they experienced problems daily.

Only 10 per cent of phone users have switched mobile phone handset due to coverage or signal problems and of those, 55 per cent found that switching improved their coverage, compared to 4 per cent who found that their service deteriorated.

A further 24 per cent switched phone network with 48 per cent of those saying the move improved their mobile coverage compared to 3 per cent who indicated that their coverage experience deteriorated.

Although most consumers are satisfied with the quality of their service, people living in rural areas are more likely to indicate dissatisfaction.

All told 21 per cent of those surveyed said that they would switch to a network that offered a reliable mobile phone service if their monthly price remained the same while 12 per cent indicated they would be willing to pay an additional amount each month to receive a reliable mobile phone service, compared to 71 per cent who said they were not prepared to pay anything extra.

On average those surveyed indicated they spend 30 minutes a day on voice calls. Browsing the internet was the most common use of a smartphone with people spending an average of 44 minutes browsing the web.

A further 35 minutes was spent accessing social media and an average of 20 instant messages are sent per day. Traditional SMS text messages remain an important use of mobile phones – on average those surveyed send or receive 15 messages a day.

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