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Sunday, March 7, 1999 Published at 06:45 GMT

Business: The Company File

Cover's blown on mobile phones

Mobile users should soon know which network suits them

Mobile phone companies have agreed to publish figures for how often calls fail to connect, or get cut off in midstream.

The head of the phone watchdog said the figures would help consumers compare success rates, and get the best deal.

Oftel Director-General David Edmonds said: "I am pleased that the four mobile networks have taken this step. Together with consumer groups, we have been seeking to get this type of information into the public domain over the past two years.

"This will provide clear information for the customer to compare the quality of service between mobile networks and get the best deal for their needs."

The figures will be measured from April to June of this year and published in September through Oftel.

The move comes after a snapshot survey by the phone watchdog in early February, which showed Orange and Vodafone managed to connect 97% of all calls within cities, for Cellnet it was 94% and for One to One it was 91%.

For calls made from trains, the snapshot survey showed the figures dropped to 89% for Orange, 79% for Cellnet, 78% for One 2 One and 73% for Vodafone.

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