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Vodafone dodges a spanking as last network to hit 3G target

Vodafone has avoided a slap on the wrist from watchdogs by boosting 3G coverage, becoming the last network to hit its target.


Vodafone has boosted its 3G coverage to avoid a slap on the wrist, meaning all the UK's major mobile phone networks now meet their 3G coverage targets. Good work, guys. After all, you've only had 14 years.

In November, telecoms watchdog Ofcom singled out Vodafone as the only network failing to live up to its 3G coverage obligations. EE, Three and O2 all met the government target of covering 90 per cent of the population with 3G signal, but Vodafone fell short. To be fair, the shortfall was only 1.4 per cent, though.

Having now made up the numbers by upgrading 2G sites to 3G, Vodafone has avoided a spanking from Ofcom.

A Vodafone spokesperson told me today that "We remain committed to delivering 98% population coverage across 2G, 3G and 4G by 2015 and are investing more than £900m in our network in this year alone."

3G launched in the year 2000, when mobile spectrum licences were auctioned by the government with an obligation for buyers to reach 80 per cent of the British population. That was increased to 90 per cent a few years ago.

Having finally cracked 3G, Vodafone has joined EE, O2, Three and Tesco Mobile in launching 4G. O2 is required by Ofcom to extend its 4G coverage across 98 per cent of the British population by 2017, and the other networks reckon they'll match that target too.

For more on coverage in your area, check out Ofcom's UK Mobile Services Map 2013.

How's the coverage in your area? What's your network like? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.