Mast 'upgrade' leaves users without phone signal

September 30 2020

The mast where the upgrade work was carried out. Picture: Michael Bell

The mast where the upgrade work was carried out. Picture: Michael Bell

PHONE company EE has been blasted by Mangotsfield residents for its response to a fault in a phone mast which left people without a signal for up to two weeks.
The problem started when the company, whose network is also used by BT Mobile, Plusnet Mobile, Asda Mobile and Virgin Mobile, carried out upgrade work on a mast next to Mangotsfield United's ground in Cossham Street in late August.
EE said the work caused an issue with coverage which then took longer than expected to resolve, in part due to high winds which meant it was unsafe for engineers to continue work on the mast.
Mangotsfield Residents Association chair Clive Heath and with Staple Hill and Mangotsfield ward councillor Michael Bell, took residents' concerns to the company people aired complaints on local social media groups.
Clive said: "Many users, including me, had no signal for two weeks. The signal is back now but still very weak, and some I believe still do not have one.
"We never really got to the bottom of why this happened as there was no real communication from EE – just false promises of remedial dates and times.
"To many people their mobile phone is a life line, especially the vulnerable, the isolated, the elderly and the ill, who were left with no communication with family, friends, doctors or any other supporting agencies they may need.
"This is also affecting people's businesses."
The company has apologised for the loss of signal and says it will consider compensation on a case-by-case basis.
A spokesperson told the Voice: “We’ve resolved a signal issue that affected some of our customers in the Mangotsfield area following extensive upgrade work on a local mast.
"The issue took longer than expected to resolve due to the complexity of the upgrade, in addition to adverse weather conditions which meant our engineers were unable to safely continue to work. "The mast has now been fully upgraded and we have restored a full service.
"We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience."