Ofcom publishes first 3G maps


Industry regulator Ofcom has published its first UK maps of 3G mobile network coverage as well as the second phase of its mobile sector assessment.

Ofcom’s new 3G maps are available to view at www.ofcom.org.uk/radiocomms/ifi/licensing/classes/broadband/cellular/3g/maps/3gmaps/.

They show the UK’s 3G coverage as of December 31. They show Orange and 3 to have the most 3G coverage. O2 appears concentrated in south and west England, while T-Mobile and Vodafone appear to have intermittent 3G coverage within central, south and west England. 3G from all networks appears poorly represented in Scotland and in northern England.

Ofcom said it would facilitate better mobile coverage across the country by assisting the Government on its proposals to make more spectrum available for mobile broadband as well as work to improve 3G coverage on key transport routes; undertake new research to explore the quality of service such as mobile broadband speeds that consumers receive; and investigate the causes of persistent coverage “not-spots”.

There were more than two million new mobile broadband connections in the UK between February 2008 and February 2009.

As part of Ofcom’s mobile industry assessment, Ofcom has concluded it will not undertake a wider formal market review of the mobile sector.

It said it will continue to monitor competition between mobile networks and look to maximise consumer benefits from any new market entrants.