With reliable mobile network increasingly becoming a major factor in peoples’ lives, Ofcom has released a mobile coverage tool that provides details about mobile coverage in a particular area in the UK down to 100 square meters.
Pegged as a simple, yet powerful tool, the mobile coverage checker is an online tool that acts as a single-stop for consumers and businesses across the UK to discover the quality of the mobile coverage in areas where they live and work, or somewhere they intend to move.
Those looking to check coverage need to simply enter a place name or postcode or zoom in on a specific location to receive data on coverage for each mobile network. Ofcom has built the tool using data by UK’s major mobile operators including EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.
You can find information about voice and data coverage by mobile operator; coverage inside and outside of buildings; and topographical information allowing users to identify areas where there are natural obstructions to coverage, such as valleys and hills.
Ofcom’s research helps consumers and business to gain information about signal strength in a particular area and whether reliable coverage will be available or not. The map also takes account of the increasing shift from handsets with external aerials to smartphones with internal aerials, which can sometimes be less effective at picking a signal.
Using a colour-coded system, each area has been ranked with green showing the highest likelihood of mobile coverage and red the lowest.
The new map is designed to support consumers in choosing a service that best suits their needs, while promoting competition between mobile operators.
Ofcom is inviting users to check their coverage experience and leave feedback, which will help refine and improve the tool, with a new version expected in the autumn.
In related work, Ofcom is seeking to improve the process for switching between different mobile providers. Ofcom outlined possible options to achieve this in July, and will take this work forward in the coming weeks.
Steve Unger, Ofcom’s Chief Technology Officer, said: “Access to reliable mobile phone coverage used to be a ‘nice to have’. Now it’s essential to many people’s lives.
“We believe our map is the most comprehensive tool available to consumers and businesses to check mobile coverage. We’re encouraging people to feed back after using the map, so we can continue to improve its accuracy.”