One in three small firms dumped their mobile phone companies last year, because of poor network coverage and prices, according to telco watchdog Oftel.

It seems this worked, because the study finds nine out of ten smaller firms are now happy with the value for money offered by their current mobile phone package.

More than a third of small to medium-sized companies, 35 percent, switched network or service provider in 2000, says Oftel's report Mobile phone use among SMEs. The most common reasons for doing so were to get better network coverage and to save money, revealed the study based on 701 UK companies.

Orange was 2000's winner, with an extra 5m customers picked up last year, most 'pay as you go' customers. Orange is the leading player in mobiles for smaller companies with 30 percent of smaller firms signed up. This leaves BTCellnet and Vodafone mopping up 28 percent each, with One2one coming in fourth with 16 percent.