We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Mobile phone coverage Scotland

Hong Kong
1 post
Mobile phone coverage Scotland
Save

I will be going on a mini crusie in Skye and Inner Hebrides next summer. What will be the mobile phone coverage there?

London, United...
Level Contributor
34,699 posts
88 reviews
106 helpful votes
1. Re: Mobile phone coverage Scotland
Save

Patchy.

Possibly non-existent offshore. Coverage follows people and there are few people on the Hebrides.

The BBC recently did a survey of coverage. I would look for that on their site. Alternatively - check what the main phone service providers say is on offer (BT, O2, Vodaphone, 3, Orange, etc).

And don't forget hills block signals. Lots of hills there.

Edited: 9 years ago
London
Level Contributor
14,042 posts
68 reviews
18 helpful votes
2. Re: Mobile phone coverage Scotland
Save

Additionally, when you do get a signal it is usually a GSM signal not a 3G signal. That's fine for making calls or sending text messages, but if you planned to use data it is all but hopeless.

england
Level Contributor
5,438 posts
8 reviews
6 helpful votes
3. Re: Mobile phone coverage Scotland
Save

I did a cruise this summer around the north of scotland, stopping in Stornoway and Tobermory, generally there is no coverage at sea at all, but I was able to use my mobile in the towns mentioned.

London, United...
Level Contributor
34,699 posts
88 reviews
106 helpful votes
4. Re: Mobile phone coverage Scotland
Save

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14582499

Very detailed and recent map of phone coverage.

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
Level Contributor
9,725 posts
68 reviews
55 helpful votes
5. Re: Mobile phone coverage Scotland
Save

It's not by any means 'non-existent' offshore. When you are within sight of the mainland there is often a signal. I get a signal on the ferry to Islay, and when we went to Canna this summer, we had a signal around Eigg and Rum. I'm on O2, but Vodafone is said to be best - it varies, of course.

London, United...
Level Contributor
34,699 posts
88 reviews
106 helpful votes
6. Re: Mobile phone coverage Scotland
Save

What's the range of phone masts? 3 miles?

So, yes, if you can see a mast on land, then you might get a signal. I lose my signal on the ferry between Ardrossan and Brodick - about 12 miles.

But, in reality, I wouldn't rely on the signal offshore if you wanted it for something important like online poker or share-dealing.... :-)

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for The Hebrides
Level Contributor
9,725 posts
68 reviews
55 helpful votes
7. Re: Mobile phone coverage Scotland
Save

Maybe you're on the wrong network Peter! I'm on 02, and when we go to Islay from Kennacraig I have a signal almost all the way. When we came back from Canna a few weeks ago, the texts and emails piled in to my phone as the ferry rounded the north-east coast of Rum. That's about 15 miles off Mallaig.

The Stunning...
Destination Expert
for Scottish Highlands, Crete
Level Contributor
39,379 posts
433 reviews
1,864 helpful votes
8. Re: Mobile phone coverage Scotland
Save

Vodaphone also has a pretty good coverage :-)

London, United...
Level Contributor
34,699 posts
88 reviews
106 helpful votes
9. Re: Mobile phone coverage Scotland
Save

I agree, I'm on the wrong network for rural Scotland - T-mobile/Orange.

But I get half-price cinema tickets from them, so I'm not complaining....

Noida, India
Level Contributor
171 posts
22 reviews
18 helpful votes
10. Re: Mobile phone coverage Scotland
Save

What about 3 ??

Get answers to your questions about Isle of Skye
© 2021 TripAdvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in Ireland. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.