Vodafone blames tourists as families are left without 4G for months

New 4G masts could cause Freeview TV interference in the Wymondham area. Pictured is a mast on St Wi

New 4G masts could cause Freeview TV interference in the Wymondham area. Pictured is a mast on St Williams Way in Norwich. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Mobile phone giant Vodafone has blamed Norfolk's tourism boom for several Norfolk villages being left with little or no 4G coverage.

Some homes in Happisburgh, Walcott and Bacton have reported having no 4G since July.

A letter from the service provider to North Norfolk District councillor for Happisburgh, Lucy Shires, claimed the issues were due to a "congested" mast as the area is a holiday destination.

Lucy Shires, Liberal Democrat councillor on North Norfolk District Council. Picture: Lucy Shires

Lucy Shires, Liberal Democrat councillor on North Norfolk District Council. Picture: Lucy Shires - Credit: Archant

The letter read: "We've found that one of the masts in the area had issues with 4G between July 4 and July 28, 2021.

"The issues have now been resolved, however one of the masts has been identified as being particularly congested due to its serving location appearing to be a holiday destination.


You may also want to watch:


"We'd expect 4G speeds to be poor during busy periods of the day throughout the Summer season."

However, Ms Shires does not believe this is the case, as the area saw a large influx of tourists last year with no impact on 4G signal in the villages.

Walcott beach.

Walcott beach. - Credit: Archant

Most Read

She said: "I haven't found anyone who is not having an issue.

"We all know this is a beautiful area that attracts a lot of tourists, but I've never seen this level of outage before.

"Last year we had an extraordinary amount of visitors and there were no service issues reported, so I'm not entirely sure that's correct.

"What is disappointing is that as customers they've raised things through the appropriate channels but they've been told it's their phones or something they are doing.

"There have been residents who have gone out and bought a new phone after being told it is their fault.

"Customers are still reporting issues where it shows that they have 4G although they can't do anything."

Happisburgh Lighthouse is painted in the traditional red and white colours.Picture: Nick Butcher

Property searches for Happisburgh have risen sharply in the last year - Credit: Nick Butcher

She said the issues were causing problems for people trying to arrange picking up and dropping off their children in the area, due to the villages' remote nature.

She added: "For a couple of residents it's taking hours for them to get texts through.

"We have a safe community for our young people, but if you can't get hold of your young person to arrange drop off or pick up then it's quite difficult really."

Vodafone denied that it had received "any volume" of customer complaints adding that its monitoring was showing that connectivity in the area was as normal.

A spokesperson for the mobile service provider said: "We can see an increased number of customers using our network in the Happisburgh area, and we continue to monitor performance."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter