The general public is now increasingly wise to the notion that 'population coverage' doesn't equate to good coverage and even 3G is rather pointless if there isn't enough bandwidth on tap in crowded areas. Thankfully this seems to have started a new - and far more helpful - type of war between the telcos: quality of service.
Chiming in on this today is 3, which has announced the activation of its 10,000th 3G site across the UK (connected in Shooters Hill, South East London) this brings the network's coverage to a claimed 3G population coverage of almost 93 per cent. 3 aims to up its 3G sites by nearly 30 per cent to 13,000 before the end of 2010.
"Over the past two years the continued growth of internet communications, smartphone use and mobile broadband uptake have brought the need for good 3G network coverage into sharp focus for millions of consumers," said Graham Baxter, CTO at 3 UK. "Our network is already the biggest 3G network in the UK. Now we’re adding new coverage and capacity across the country to meet demand and bring the benefits of 3G to people who’ve never had access in their area before."
Of course Orange also makes the 'biggest 3G network' claim and Vodafone's iPhone pitch is based around it having "The Network You Can Rely On" while O2 has promised to clean up its 2009 dirty rep for network outages with a £500m network investment and has already begun the first UK LTE trials.
Yep, this is the kind of battle we want to see - not simply which network lands what smartphone exclusive on who's overcrowded and patchy network. Calls that can be heard and data rates that are fast... what a concept!