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Vodafone 3G fails to meet Ofcom requirements

Vodafone’s 3G coverage has failed to reach regulator Ofcom’s coverage obligations, falling short of the required 90 per cent.

As part of the 3G mobile spectrum license, Ofcom requires all UK network providers to achieve coverage for 90 per cent of the country’s population, up from 80 per cent in 2000.

EE, Three and O2 all meet the 90 per cent obligation, but Vodafone fell short by 1.4 per cent.

However, Vodafone has promised that this discrepancy will be rectified by the end of the year by introducing its 3G signal to more mobile masts that it originally intended.

“Ofcom is fully aware of our plans to ensure compliance by the end of this year,” said Vodafone in a statement. “Our network investment stands at more than £900 million 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.”

Ofcom will be monitoring Vodafone’s 3G coverage and will reassess the UK network provider in the New Year.

Analysts believe it won’t take Vodafone long to improve its 3G coverage and should meet the 90 per cent requirement before the end of 2013.

“I don’t see it being very much of an issue for them to catch up and quite probably it will happen before the end of the year,” said Matthew Howett, an analyst with research firm Ovum.

This is especially evident by the speed of Vodafone’s 4G rollout.

“4G coverage will be better and much more likely to be complied with given the spectrum at 800MHz travels further distances and penetrates buildings well,” added Howett.

Ofcom is looking to prioritise mobile coverage and recently released a report highlighting mobile coverage on UK roads is poor. Next year it will look to increase coverage on the UK railway lines.

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