Vodafone To Avoid Ofcom Action After Meeting 3G Coverage Requirements

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Vodafone meets 3G license requirement, six months after everyone else

Ofcom says Vodafone will not face any further action for failing to meet its 3G coverage requirements by a June 2013 deadline after the operator successfully achieved an obligation to reach 90 percent of UK homes by the end of 2013.

The 3G licenses awarded in 2000 required operators to rollout services to 80 percent of the population, but in 2010, the government ordered Ofcom to increase this obligation to 90 percent, with the operators promising to adhere by 30 June 2013.

The UK communications regulator revealed in November that Vodafone was the only one to miss this deadline, falling 1.4 percent short of the coverage requirement.

Vodafone 3G coverage

Vodafone StoreHowever it promised to comply by the end of the year, something it achieved ahead of schedule, and as a result Ofcom has decided not to issue any penalty, especially given the relatively small margin of error.

Ofcom has also reiterated its commitment to improving mobile coverage in the UK, especially with regards to 4G. It says that O2’s license for the 800MHz spectrum it acquired at the 4G auction earlier this year requires it to provide indoor coverage to 98 percent of the UK population and outdoor coverage to 99 percent, but adds that all major operators are set to match this requirement.

The government has also pledged £150 million to improve mobile coverage in rural areas as part of the Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP) , while the department for transport is also looking at ways of enhancing the signal along the UK’s busiest railway routes.

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