It seems the UK's mobile phone network needs almost as much work as our broadband infrastructure. A report published today by the Communications Consumer Panel, a body that Ofcom consults, shows that the majority of people experience problems with coverage.

Over half (56%) of consumers and 91% of small business users have had problems with reception, while 33% of consumers and 34% of small business respondents experience problems on a regular basis. 36% of consumers say they have experienced "not-spots" and 18% of consumers experience them regularly.

Operators should do more to help consumers with such problems, says the report, which also suggests a try before you buy option for mobile phone contracts so that consumers know if they have the right coverage where they need it.

"This report identifies one of the most popular questions that customers have asked us over the last 20 years", comments Andrew Harrison, UK CEO of Carphone Warehouse.

"Network coverage is a critical issue, particularly as the popularity and growth in smartphones looks set to continue and more people look to utilise 3G services via their mobile phones. We have invested heavily to ensure that coverage checking functionality exists in all of our stores to enable us to advise customers on the best level of coverage at their homes and places of work".