Ofcom criticises mobile broadband coverage on UK roads

A new report from the telecommunications regulator Ofcom has criticised the mobile broadband coverage on the nation’s roads, as it is revealed that even 2G coverage on A and B roads is very poor.


The report is intended to provide a snapshot of fixed line and mobile broadband in the UK, and the data included within it was compiled over the summer. Its publication coincides with the country’s upgrade to 4G, which started with the rollout of the EE 4G phone network back in October 2012. Since then, 4G coverage has been spreading steadily throughout all major towns and cities, but according to the report, there still seem to be some gaps in coverage on the nation’s roads.


Ofcom has said that whilst coverage for 2G and 3G on motorways seems to be good, only 77 per cent of mobile and tablet users on A and B roads in the UK can get a 2G signal from all operators. Four per cent have to put up with having no signal at all from any operator, which could cause real problems in the case of a breakdown at the side of the road. Without the means to call for help, many motorists could end up stranded at the side of the road.


3G coverage


Unfortunately, the situation seems to be even worse for 3G, as only 35 per cent of users can get a signal from all operators on A and B roads. Nine per cent have no signal from any operator, and up in Scotland, this figure rises to 28 per cent.


4G to the rescue?


Ofcom has said that the rollout of 4G networks could make a big difference to connectivity on the UK’s major transport networks. This is because 4G has stricter coverage obligations, so it can reach more areas. This is why EE 4G UK coverage, being the most far-reaching of all networks at present, is being extended into rural and remote parts of the country.

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