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Ofcom Reports on UK's Digital Coverage

UK regulator launches digital communications coverage maps, including outdoor mobile coverage and mobile broadband availability

November 1, 2011

2 Min Read

LONDON -- Ofcom today launched digital communications coverage maps, including outdoor mobile coverage and mobile broadband availability, using data supplied by communications providers.

The maps, available at http://maps.ofcom.org.uk, are 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. Ofcom’s report also refers to the coverage and capacity of the UK’s landline network, digital radio and TV.

Each of the 200 areas of the UK has been ranked according to a score given for coverage and colour coded with green ranking highest and red lowest.

Ofcom’s data shows considerably better household coverage compared with geographic coverage. This is because mobile providers tend to prioritise investment in network infrastructure where the maximum number of consumers and businesses can be served.

The maps show that 97% of premises and 66% of the UK landmass can receive a 2G signal outdoors from all four 2G networks. This means that approximately 900,000 UK premises do not have a choice of all four 2G mobile networks.

For 3G, 73% of premises and 13% of the UK’s landmass can receive a signal outdoors from all five 3G* networks, with lower coverage in less densely populated areas. This means that approximately 7.7million UK premises do not have a choice of all five 3G mobile networks.

The areas of lowest 3G geographic coverage are in the highlands of Scotland and mid-Wales which are both sparsely populated with hilly terrain.

Ofcom is currently working closely with the Government to consider how the £150m that it has allocated to help address mobile not-spots, can deliver the greatest benefits for UK consumers. Working to address mobile not-spots is one of Ofcom’s priorities as set out in its 2011/12 annual plan.

Ofcom

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