O2 pledge to check Sidmouth's mobile signal

A MOBILE telephone company promised to send radio engineers to Sidmouth this week to check on its two communication masts after a retired BBC journalist claimed he was having trouble with his mobile phone signal.

A MOBILE telephone company promised to send radio engineers to Sidmouth this week to check on its two communication masts after a retired BBC journalist claimed he was having trouble with his mobile phone signal.

Norman Hartley, 74, who now works as a consultant to the BBC's television news overseas bureaux, works mainly from home and says his mobile is his "office".

He contacted the Herald saying he had been "driven insane by the poor quality of signal" from O2's network coverage for the Woolbrook area in recent weeks.

"I am sick of being told I sound like a dalek," said Mr Hartley, who has spent the last 10 years working as a BBC consultant.


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He said he had complained to O2 but had heard nothing to say the problem had been resolved, only rumours around town that one of its masts had been damaged.

After the Herald contacted James Stevenson, communications manager for the area, he spoke to Mr Hartley, who lives in Woolbrook Close, to assure him nothing was wrong with either the mast south of his home or the one at Branscombe Hill to the east.

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"I called him back on his mobile and it was as clear as clear can be. He walked around the house to the area where the signal was weak and I could hear him with no problem," said Mr Stevenson.

"We are going to get two guys (radio engineers) to come down for a drive around. They have his number and details and if necessary will contact him.

"There is no damaged mast. Sometimes they will tilt the antennae to make the signal better and this had probably been done.

"If Mr Hartley is getting an inadequate signal they will give me a report."

A grateful Mr Hartley, who was pleased with O2's positive response, said: "I have been working on the landline because of so many problems.

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