ORANGE has come out on top in a regional survey on successfully completed phone calls.

In Northern England, 98.7 per cent of calls on its network connected and were completed successfully. This compares with 97.9 per cent for O2, 96.4 per cent for T-Mobile and 97.1 per cent for Vodaphone.

The test calls were made in towns and cities including Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

Similar surveys were done in other regions and nationally Orange scored 97.8 per cent, O2 got 97.3 per cent, T-Mobile 95.1 per cent and Vodafone 97.5 per cent.

The results have been published by the telecommunications watchdog Oftel.

David Edmonds, Director General of Telecommunications, said: "It is good news for consumers that on a national basis almost 97 per cent of calls are completed successfully."