British telecoms regulator Ofcom is investigating the accuracy of coverage claims made by two of the country’s mobile network operators (MNOs), Vodafone UK and EE, the BBC reports. Ofcom has reportedly suggested that EE had overstated its 3G coverage levels in rural areas, while Vodafone has reportedly understated its 4G coverage. Operators have a legal obligation to provide accurate coverage data to Ofcom, and the watchdog has said it is now gathering evidence, and will take into account any potential damage to customers in any final sanctions it might levy against the cellcos.
For its part, BT subsidiary EE has apologised for any confusion caused by the coverage levels it had reported, and said it had updated its coverage maps. An EE spokesperson was cited as saying: ‘There would have only been a difference in predicted data coverage for a very small number of customers in specific areas … We apologise for any confusion this may have caused, and we continue to work to give our customers the most accurate view of the coverage available to them so that they can make an informed decision about their choice of mobile network.’ Meanwhile, Vodafone was reported to have said that it ‘may have been inadvertently under-reporting the extent of our 4G network coverage’, while noting that the data it had submitted to Ofcom was ‘adjusted to reflect the signal customers actually receive on their mobile phones’.