UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom has unveiled its findings following an examination aimed at determining whether the country’s mobile operators are meeting their respective 3G coverage obligations.
With EE, O2 UK, Hutchison 3G UK (Three) and Vodafone UK having all agreed to roll out third-generation networks covering 90% of the population by 30 June 2013, the regulator has now confirmed that all but the latter achieved this goal. Vodafone UK was said to have fallen short of the target, with Ofcom saying that its 3G infrastructure was available to 88.6% of Britons at the date in question. Following discussions between the cellco and Ofcom, it has been claimed that Vodafone UK has, however, put in place a plan to bring itself into compliance with the coverage obligation by the end of this year. It is understood that such a plan will ‘involve rolling out 3G to more mobile masts than Vodafone had originally estimated as being necessary’. With Ofcom saying that it believes the strategy to be ‘credible’ after reviewing it, it has said though that it will closely monitor Vodafone UK’s implementation of the plan. Meanwhile, in light of the mobile operator’s efforts at achieving compliance, Ofcom has said it will not take any enforcement action at this stage, but will reassess the matter in January 2014.