Vodafone has just gone 4G, but watchdogs say it's fallen short on 3G. Ofcom has singled out Vodafone as the only network failing to live up to its 3G coverage obligations, but the network is working to make things right.
EE, Three and O2 have all met the government's target of reaching 90 per cent of the population. But Vodafone fell short by -- gasp! -- 1.4 per cent.
In response, Vodafone is upgrading some existing 2G sites to 3G sites before the end of the year rather than waiting until next year.
"Our 3G licence includes an obligation to cover 90 per cent of the population and Ofcom is fully aware of our plans to ensure compliance by the end of this year," a Vodafone UK spokesperson told me today. "Our network investment stands at more than £900m this year alone and we remain on track to deliver indoor coverage across 2G, 3G and 4G to 98 per cent of the population by 2015, two years ahead of the regulator's deadline."
Industry regulator Ofcom believes Vodafone's plan is "credible", and has decided to postpone throwing the book at the network, checking up again on Voda's coverage again in January.
For more on coverage in your area, check out Ofcom's UK Mobile Services Map 2013.
When 3G launched back in the year 2000, mobile spectrum licences came with an obligation to reach 80 per cent of the British population, which was increased to 90 per cent by the government a decade later.
Vodafone has joined EE, O2, and Tesco Mobile in launching a 4G service, with Three to follow next year. O2 is required to extend 4G coverage across 98 per cent of the British population by 2017, and other mobile networks have pledged to match this coverage.
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