Back in the summer we told you about the BBC app that was being used to provide a map of the UK and its 3G coverage. The country still lags behind much of the developed world when it comes to having 4G networks, which are not thought to be available before 2013 at the earliest. Trouble is who wants 4G if you can’t even get 3G?
UK regulator Ofcom has provided its own map of the country revealing 3G coverage and according to The Telegraph 27 percent of homes and businesses in the country can’t get a 3G mobile signal for all of the major carriers. Parts of Scotland and Wales that are rural as well as being hilly, were listed as having the worst 3G coverage in the UK.
Many customers in rural parts of the UK often get no signal at all, or can only receive a signal from only one operator. Each one of the UK mobile carriers is obliged to cover 80 percent of the country, but they can decide what areas to cover, and often pick those that will be most profitable.
Carriers were offered licenses to provide a 3G network back in 2000, and made the British Government billions. But carriers have struggled to see returns on that investment, so have focused networks on the most profitable areas.
Ofcom maps reveals that only two-thirds of the total UK landmass can get a mobile signal at all, but this is still equivalent to 97 percent of the UK population. When you look at 3G coverage that is needed for better use of smartphones, this drops to only 13 percent. We told you recently that more of the UK was now using smartphones, so many will be hoping that coverage improves in certain areas.
Do you get good 3G coverage in your area?