It's Ofcom's job to keep those cheeky mobile networks in line, and it's released maps of the nation's 3G coverage to show how they're living up to their 3G commitments.

You couldn't use it to find out if you're house is covered -- unless you live in the Highlands, where you're pretty much screwed from every direction -- but it's interesting to see how the different networks stack up.

Keep in mind that this only shows 3G coverage, so you could still make 2G voice and data calls from inside the blank spots. And it doesn't show the quality of the coverage, and you might get better data speeds from different networks in the same area. Also, there are some simplifications -- Ofcom assumed that all trees and buildings are 10m tall, for example, and that you're calling from outdoors.

Ofcom says it's now going to work on getting coverage to the places that aren't getting any 3G love, such as rural areas.

If you want to drill down to your postcode, check out the coverage maps on the networks' own Web sites: Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2, and 3.

O2's coverage is the thinnest on the ground -- not good news for iPhone users. In 2008, Ofcom warned O2 that if it didn't pull its finger out and improve its 3G coverage, it would take back its 3G licence early.
3 shows the most 3G coverage on the map, which is no surprise since it's a 3G-only network.
Orange is runner-up to 3 in the extent of its 3G network coverage.
No, it's not a blood-stained map of swine-flu cases, it's Vodafone's 3G network coverage.


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