Why do I show full 5G but very poor signal?



I have been with IDmobile a few weeks now and find my signal is very very poor. I live in Cornwall and it says my area has excellent 4G in the coverage checker. 

What I find bizarre is I can be on the phone with reception that sounds like we’re talking underwater, yet my signal shows full 5G? This area of Cornwall does not have 5G. Alas, even with full 4G showing it can be the same. 

Why can I not make a phone call with full signal showing, and why does 5G show up and have an even worse reception?



6 replies

Userlevel 8
Badge +9

Signal reception shown by the vertical bars icon, and the data capability of the network connection, shown as 3G, 4G, 5G, etcetera, label indicate different things, @cainuk.

Having a 4G capable data connection doesn’t mean you’re you’re able to achieve the maximum bandwidth available for that network connection.

Is your handset on the iD Mobile approved handset list, @cainuk?

Check online at   

Hi thanks for the response. I have an iPhone 13 so should be capable of full 4G?

Userlevel 8
Badge +9

Okay @cainuk, the iD online coverage checker only shows a prediction of coverage based on computer models, so at any given location reception might be better or worse than predicted online.

The website has actual real-world coverage for many locations in the UK. 

Also, have you checked for network faults / issues at your location?
You can do this online at

My home is in a mobile not-spot, so I use WiFi Calling on my iPhone 13 to call and text.

My workplace is the problem at the moment, but I ha e had connectivity issues constantly since starting the contract in most areas where I live, so not a temporary network issue. 

i just don’t understand how I can have what appears to be a full signal (be it 4G/5G) yet have such a poor reception calling someone who has wifi calling at home?

Userlevel 8
Badge +9

4G and 5G icon only means your mobile network connection is capable of 4G data, not that you will have the maximum speed for 4G data.

Many things can affect the performance of your data connection.

Have you looked at actual network capability in your area on, @cainuk?

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi @cainuk 


Sorry to hear this, please could you let us know the postcode(s) where you’re having issues?


Are you able to try and switch your device to 4G/LTE instead of 5G in the settings?