Which mobile operator is best in Escrick?

The simple answer appears to be Vodafone, followed closely by O2, lagged some way by EE, and Three are not even in the game.

Both the technical theory and local feedback support this view.

The longer answer….

The first consideration is where they have masts:

  • Vodafone, O2 and EE all have masts on Stillingfleet Hill, but only Vodafone and O2 have masts much closer at the sewage works near the A19.

The next consideration is frequency ranges used:

  • Vodafone and O2 use 900MHz for 2G, this lower frequency perform better, particularly indoors, than the 1800MHz used by EE.
  • All operators use the same 2100MHz frequency for 3G.
  • All operators now use 800MHz frequency for 4G (EE being the last to migrate to this in summer 2018). There was a notable improvement of EE's 4G coverage in the village associated with this move.

The next consideration is the network features available:

  • The main difference here is that whilst Vodafone and EE both enable voice calls to be made on their 4G network, O2 does not current support this capability in Escrick (sometimes called VoLTE or 4G calling). Your phone will switch back to 2G or 3G to make a phone call.


  • At the risk of stating the obvious - not all handsets support all frequency bands, nor all features. 
    • Older phones may not support 4G at all, and some early 4G models don’t support the 800MHz frequency range used in Escrick (sometimes referred to as 'LTE band 20').
    • Quite a lot of 4G phones do not support VoLTE or 4G calling, and therefore will use 2G/3G for making calls.  This is particularly an issue for EE customers, where the 2G/3G coverage in the village is poor.
  • If your reception appears much worse than others on the same network - it might be a limitation, or fault, with your handset.


  • Finally it is worth giving some consideration to network congestion - you might have a strong signal, but if the network is congested, you might still get slow speeds.  Anecdotal evidence suggests this isn’t a problem on any of the 4G networks in Escrick at present.

Links to official coverage maps

What about others?

Other networks are essentially resellers, using capacity of one of the above four networks:


Used by


Asda, BT, PlusNet


Tesco, Sky, Giff Gaff, TalkTalk


iD People, The People’s Operator


Talk Mobile

But I used to be on O2, and it wasn't very good...

O2's mast at the sewage farm was only added around ~ 2015 - prior to then, coverage was noticeably worse than Vodafone.

But I used to be on EE, and it wasn't very good...

EE only migrated their 4G coverage to the 'better' 800MHz frequency in summer 2018 - prior to that coverage was poor. The move to 800MHz has significantly improved 4G coverage, but still lags behind that provided by Vodafone and O2.

Outside of Escrick...

Most people want their phone to work in other locations too ....  whilst much will depend on precisely where you want to use your phone, and whether data is important ... generally EE tops the charts for best coverage nationally:  https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/mobile-phone-providers/article/which-phone-network-offers-the-best-signal

(This page is based on publicly available information as at December 2017 - inevitably things will change over time - so always check before you buy)

Related pages: Broadband in Escrick