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Vodafone Fail Ofcoms UK 3G Mobile Broadband Coverage Requirement

Thursday, Nov 7th, 2013 (10:18 am) - Score 1,292

Mobile operator Vodafone UK has failed Ofcom’s 3G based Mobile Broadband coverage obligation, which requires them to provide related network coverage in the 2100MHz band to at least 90% of the UK population. But apparently they only fell short by 1.4%.

According to the communications regulator, Vodafone are the only major Mobile Network Operator out of the four primary MNO providers (including EE, O2 and Three UK) to fail the commitment, which was first introduced by the current coalition Government in December 2010.


Ofcoms Statement

One operator, Vodafone did not achieve compliance with [the] 3G coverage obligation, falling 1.4% short of the 90% coverage requirement. Following discussions with Ofcom, Vodafone has put in place a plan to bring itself into compliance with the 3G coverage obligation by the end of 2013. Ofcom is satisfied that Vodafone’s plan is credible. We have therefore decided not to take enforcement action now and will instead assess Vodafone’s compliance in January 2014. We will decide whether to take any further action at that time.

It’s worth pointing out that the same obligation also mandates that mobile operators must deliver a “90% probability that users in outdoor locations within that [90% coverage] area can receive the service with a sustained downlink speed of not less than 768kbps in a lightly loaded cell“.

Meanwhile most of the major mobile operators already expect to extend their latest 4G (LTE) networks out to reach 98% of the population by between 2015 and 2017, which somewhat supersedes the reach of 3G. On the other hand consumers often find mobile coverage to be much more variable than the official claims.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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