Vodafone falls short of 3G mobile obligation target

Vodafone fails to meet 3G mobile obligation target says UK regulator Ofcom.

Mobile phone operators– EE, Three and O2 have successfully met the obligation as on 30th June, 2013 whereas Vodafone failed 1.4 percent short of the 90 percent coverge requirement.

The 3G mobile spectrum licences were awarded in 2000 and they included an obligation to roll-out services to 80 percent of the UK by population. However, in 2010 the government directed Ofcom to increase this obligation further, requiring operators to cover 90 percent of where the UK population lives.

Following discussions with Ofcom, Vodafone has put in place a plan to bring itself into compliance with the 3G coverage obligation by the end of 2013. This will involve rolling out 3G to more mobile masts than Vodafone had originally estimated as being necessary. Ofcom has reviewed this plan, and believes it to be credible, but will closely monitor Vodafone’s implementation of the plan.

In light of Vodafone’s compliance plans, Ofcom has decided not to take any enforcement action at this stage. It will assess Vodafone’s compliance in January 2014 and depending on the position at that time, the possibility of taking any further action will be considered.

Improving mobile coverage for consumers is a priority area for Ofcom. That is why we are leading or supporting initiatives to improve mobile coverage, as part of a five point plan.

This includes the important role that 4G will play in delivering near universal mobile broadband coverage within the next few years.

By 2017 at the latest, O2 is required to extend 4G coverage into indoor areas in which at least 98 percent of the UK population lives. This is expected to cover more than 99 percent of the UK population when outdoors.

Other mobile operators have also indicated that they intend to match this coverage. This will help to extend mobile broadband coverage into many parts of the UK that are still underserved by 3G.

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