How good is your 3G coverage?

A major new study today reveals just how good Britain’s mobile phone coverage is – postcode by postcode.

Mobile 3G coverage

A major new study today reveals just how good Britain’s mobile phone coverage is – postcode by postcode.

The online study shows which areas get the fastest 3G signal and which are restricted to the slower 2G service. The latest smartphones, which offer internet and e-mail services, rely on a 3G signal to work properly. Phone companies say 90 per cent of Britain can get 3G.

But in many places people are relying on a 2G signal, which is around 10 times slower.

More than 44,000 volunteers took part in a three-week BBC survey of 3G coverage, providing testing firm Epitiro with some 1.7 million hours of data from around the UK.

The findings can now be seen on an online map, allowing people to type in their postcode to see the type of signal that is available in their area.

Gavin John, chief executive of Epitiro, said: “Over 44,000 volunteers from the Shetland Islands to the Isles of Scilly participated with 42 million locations tested from every county in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“For the first time consumers have the means to see 3G coverage precisely where they live, work and travel.”

According to the map, the majority of Telford has 3G reception, but in some areas, including Ironbridge and Woodside, only the slower 2G signal is available.

Shrewsbury also has good 3G coverage with only a few areas, around Roman Road and Belle Vue Road, having the slower service.

In south Shropshire results are mixed, with Ludlow offering strong 3G coverage, but Craven Arms and Church Stretton relying on predominantly 2G services.

Mobile phone operators said they were broadly pleased by the survey. O2 said it “welcomed the crowd sourcing experiment”, but added that more detail – for example, signal quality – would have been useful.

A spokesman said: “The results don’t show the ‘experience’ on each network – for example, speed or the ability to hold a connection. Simply having coverage does not guarantee a good service.”

Everything Everywhere – the parent company of Orange and T-Mobile – said it “was a step in the right direction” for offering consumers transparent information about coverage.

Comments for: "How good is your 3G coverage?"

The Original Jake

It's a bit patchy. Lots of areas (including mine) with "no data".

I started taking part, but then read that a) the app drains battery quickly and b) when you're on Wi-Fi (which I am at home and at the office) the phone reverts to (and therefore reports) 2G. That pretty much invalidates the result. I deleted the app.

Of course, the other problem is location data. GPS is another battery drain and doesn't work well indoors, so is often switched off, but cell triangulation can be very inaccurate.

I think I'll take the results of this survey with a pinch of salt. Nice idea, but flawed.

mat

It was limited by the fact that it was only on android and for three weeks only, but at least it was independent and gives some idea.

jeff

I live in TF10 and coverage is utter rubbish, sitting in the house I'm lucky if I get any signal nevermind 3G, I use my wi-fi to read the news etc on my mobile.

We need more phone masts but all the NIMBY'S want a signal but not masts

SteveR

Hmmm, parts of TF5 are lucky to get a reasonable 2G signal, let alone 3G! I even offered Orange a cheap site with no neighbours for a mast! I find that to get a working phone that it is best to switch off 3g altogether :(

I guess you will be fine if you live in the big urban areas, but move away, and you are "johnny no mates" very quickly. The idea that I could use a smartphone with anything other than wifi is a joke

jeff

It's amazing parts of Telford can only just get 2G. The phone companies want to put up masts to enable better reception but locals don't want them, they want good 3G reception but not masts