The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced the launch of digital communications coverage maps, including outdoor mobile coverage and mobile broadband availability, using data supplied by the country’s communications providers. The maps form part of Ofcom’s first report on the UK’s communications infrastructure, which it is now required to submit to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport every three years.
The new data reveals that 97% of British premises and 66% of the country’s geographical area can receive a 2G signal outdoors from all four 2G mobile network operators, those being: Orange UK and T-Mobile UK (which are now both controlled by joint venture Everything Everywhere), O2 UK and Vodafone UK. The regulator noted that these figures mean that around 900,000 UK premises do not currently have a choice of all four 2G mobile networks. In terms of 3G coverage meanwhile, Ofcom notes that 73% of the UK’s premises and 13% of its landmass are able to receive a signal outdoors from all five 3G network providers; Hutchison 3G UK rounds out the aforementioned operators as the fifth player. Such data suggests that approximately 7.7 million UK residents therefore do not currently have the option to choose to take a service from all five 3G providers.
Ofcom said it is currently working closely with the Government to examine how a GBP150 million (USD240 million) fund that has been set aside to help address mobile broadband ‘not-spots’ can be utilised to deliver the best benefits for the UK’s consumers.