What is it with Orange?

I've used their cellular service since I joined Network Week, back in 1995. And for years they've served me well. Why is it, then, that my mobile is becoming increasingly irritating to use?

The other day I was on a train, speeding through the Norfolk countryside in John Peel country. Could I maintain a call for more than a couple of minutes, without the signal bugging out? No. I also spend a couple of hours a week on trains between London and Gatwick, and while I'll forgive them for having no signal in the big long tunnel on that stretch of railway, I'm finding it hard to accept the numerous outages I get on the rest of the trip.

Right now, I'm in the middle of a 10-day business trip to Delhi, and I've just acquired a company BlackBerry - which uses Vodafone. Now the BlackBerry 9500 (the "Storm") is, frankly, a pile of badly designed cack, but one thing I can say in its favour is that it doesn't matter where I've been, I've yet to have a call (and there have been many) interrupted.

Orange can't give me a signal in the bit of Norfolk where cows graze in the fields. Yet Vodafone performs superbly in all the bits of India where cows wander down the roads.