Saturday, October 1, 2011

Many UK areas 'still don't have adequate access to 3G mobile technology'

Researchers discovered that several major towns and cities did not have round-the-clock access to the coverage despite claims that more than 90 per cent of the country was covered. 

The survey, which involved almost 45,000 volunteers downloading a special mobile application, found many areas still had “not spots”. 

The results suggest the performance of operators was markedly different throughout the country. Despite claims that most areas of the country had excellent mobile coverage, the survey found large parts of rural Britain had poorer signal than urban neighbourhoods. 

It found that “testers” were only able to receive a 3G signal, which is a requirement for the latest “smartphones”, about three quarters of the time with the rest only able to use 2G technology. Experts say the 2G technology is typically around ten times slower than 3G "mobile broadband". Mobile coverage has become an important part of everyday life with people becoming increasingly reliant on their smartphones to send emails and search the internet as well as making phone calls. 

The lack of coverage has also become a contentious issue for residents in rural and outlying areas of Britain. The survey, undertaken by testing firm Epitiro on behalf of the BBC, collected more than 1.7 million hours worth of data from 44,600 volunteers. More than 42 million locations were tested in every county in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It found that most areas of a city had "excellent coverage" other regions "even quite near the centre where some if not all the networks are just not providing a data connection".

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