3G, the service which enables users to have simultaneous access to speech, internet and email on their mobile phones, is inaccessible across large parts of the UK, according to new maps released by the telecoms regulator Ofcom.
The maps represent the coverage provided by Vodaphone, Orange, O2, T-Mobile and 3 mobile networks. The shaded areas indicate where it is possible for customers to gain access to the internet on their mobile.
The maps show that whilst much of Britain has the ability to gain access to the internet through their mobile, there are still black-spots in coverage in south-western England, northern England, East Anglia, as well as large areas of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Despite this, internet access in Britain is better than that in comparable countries. “Coverage of mobile networks in the UK is generally good,” Ofcom said.
The new data is of particular importance now as trends show that more and more individuals are moving away from the use of their landlines, preferring their mobiles. Ofcom revealed that the number of minutes spent on fixed land lines fell by 8 billion from this time last year. Ofcom stating that as “mobile services have become central for UK citizens and consumers and for businesses.” Forcing them to look in depth at the coverage issues found across the UK.
A range of reasons have been given as to why such access variations have occurred, ranging from landscape variations to technical problems. Ofcom aims to concentrate predominantly in the areas with no access, working in tandem with government organisations and local councils to address the problems highlighted by today’s report.