Cheap French calls in Dover

Mobile users in parts of Kent have become 'temporarily French' as weather gives boost to France phone signal

31 March 2013

VISITORS to the UK with French mobiles will receive an unexpected boost today and over the next few days as parts of Kent are being registered as being under French mobile phone signals due to the extended bad weather.

It means French local phone rates are being charged rather than the higher UK roaming rates - for anyone with a French mobile.

People on the south coast of England and as far north as Maidstone and Canterbury reported last night that they had become "temporarily French" as far as phone bills are concerned because French mobile phone signals are travelling further than usual.

T-Mobile and Orange customers in the UK found they were being charged French roaming rates for calls and internet – at nearly 29p a minute to make calls – when they were standing on or near the famous chalk cliffs.

Engineers from T-Mobile’s parent group EE said the geography of the cliffs at St Margaret’s-at-Cliffe, Kent, meant mobile phone signals from Orange and SFR in France were beaming across the flat waters of the Strait of Dover and drowning out the UK signal.

And they found that today’s weather, with a strong high pressure region extending down to Dover and a strong low pressure region over Calais, could cause the signal to be “"refracted" and extend further into the UK.

EE press spokesman Avril Wunderlin said the company was advising UK customers of T-Mobile and Orange to switch off roaming while in the area - but French customers were free to ignore that advice.

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