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Wales, Scotland, NI and rural areas hit by limited access

UK?s 3G ‘not-spot’ areas exposed

A striking number of areas in the UK have little or absolutely no access to 3G services for their mobile phones.

That was the conclusion reached by communications regulator Ofcom. The group’s comprehensive report features UK maps displaying which areas have 3G coverage and, crucially, which operators are providing it.

The report shows sizable ‘not-spots’ across the UK, with Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and many rural areas particularly suffering from scarce coverage.

The coverage maps appear to indicate that O2, visibly, has the thinnest spread of 3G coverage across the UK, with 3 and Orange providing the largest, and Vodaphone and T-Mobile both sitting between the two extremes. 

O2’s comparative lack of 3G coverage is particularly noticeable considering it is the exclusive network provider for Apple’s iPhone 3G and 3G S.

Mobile internet services continue to grow in popularity. The report states that – between February 2008 and February 2009 – over two million UK citizens had signed up for mobile broadband deals. 

To see the full 3G coverage maps, download Ofcom’s report here (pdf).

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