Quarter of UK premises missing out on 3G

Ofcom reveals there are still plenty of 3G not-spots, despite massive data usage amongst the UK population.

UK

Over a quarter of UK premises still can't access 3G services, according to fresh figures.

Ofcom launched digital communications coverage maps of outdoor mobile coverage and mobile broadband availability yesterday.

The maps, using data supplied by communication providers, showed that 27 per cent of UK premises still can't access 3G mobile networks.

Over the next 12 months, we expect there to be continued rapid growth in availability of superfast broadband services and data use.

This research is part of Ofcom's required report submitted to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport every three years.

Only 13 per cent of the UK's landmass can receive a signal outdoors from all five 3G networks, with lower coverage in densely populated areas.

The areas showing the lowest 3G geographic coverage are in Scotland and Wales, both of which suffer thanks to sparse hilly terrain.

Ofcom reported that 97 per cent of premises can receive 2G signals from all four 2G networks. This means 900,000 premises do not have a choice of all four 2G networks.

The regulator said working to address mobile 'not-spots' is one of its priorities.

The report came after mobile operator 3 revealed 97 per cent of its traffic is data.

High usage

Data usage amongst fixed-line broadband customers is skyrocketing, with UK consumers are using an average 17 Gigabytes of data per month.

"This is the equivalent to downloading more than 11 films per month, streaming 12 hours of BBC iPlayer HD video or more than 12 days of streaming audio content," Ofcom stated.

Data from the London Internet Exchange, connecting UK internet service providers, shows traffic has increased seven-fold in the past five years.

"Over the next 12 months, we expect there to be continued rapid growth in availability of superfast broadband services and data use and we aim to publish an update on this next summer," Ofcom added.

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