One of the most frustrating difficulties faced by residents of rural communities in the modern age is the lack of coverage by network providers. Whilst people living in densely populated urban areas generally benefit from a whole host of services from a number of different providers, those people living in rural communities are often heavily restricted to certain services offered by a limited number of providers.
Mobile phone coverage problems in rural areas are partly the result of a lack of commercial incentive for businesses to invest in the necessary infrastructure (due to relatively sparse populations) and partly the result of difficulties created by the natural landscape. In some circumstances, a lack of 3G coverage can make the internet functionality of the very best camera phone 2011 useless in all but the most limited circumstances (i.e. areas with Wi-Fi coverage).
For these reasons, it is important to check coverage from your intended network provider as well as any alternatives before signing on to a costly contract deal. If in doubt about how coverage might affect your mobile phone usage, it is best to stick to one of the budget mobile phones under £100 with a pay as you go SIM card. Mobile phone network providers are notoriously reluctant to refund users who make the wrong decision and end up tied into a contract that is useless to them. This can create serious problems for the unprepared consumer.
Thankfully, there are a number of different coverage checkers available online. It is a legal requirement for network providers to supply coverage checkers on their own web sites, but these are not always easy to find. There are, however, a number of third-party sites that contain links to all the relevant coverage checkers from each of the different providers. These comparison web sites can make choosing between providers far easier than it might otherwise be.