BBC details crowd-sourced 3G mobile coverage for UK

The BBC's 3G coverage report has just been published, with findings that reveal that 3G cover is still not up to the standards many operators would have us believe.

Taking part in the crowd-sourced survey were 46,000 volunteers, who downloaded an app for the Android mobile phone platform, made available by the BBC in July this year. The app allowed data on 3G coverage to be sent through to the firm Epitiro with aprox 1.7 million hours of data from around the UK.

The findings showed that as opposed to the 90 per cent 3G coverage claimed, testers found that a 3G signal was only available around 75 per cent of the time.

Gavin John, chief executive of Epitiro, said ""For the first time consumers have the means to see 3G coverage precisely where they live, work and travel," indeed this new 3G mapping of the UK will not only prove useful to mobile users, but also to Ofcom who will no doubt studt the map with some interest in light of the upcoming 4G auction.

It seemed that when the networks were first laid out, not much attention was paid to the planning of the network as a whole- rather, a situation occurred where individual operators competed for available space.

As Windsor Holden, an analyst with Juniper Research put, referring to West Sussex, "There are substantial differences in Chichester where, for example, O2 has poor coverage to the west while Vodafone has issues in the east.

"There is probably a correlation to their base station configurations. When these networks were rolled out there was not the attention paid to planning and so networks aren't as efficient as they should be."

The BBC has also produced a map which provides detailed 3G information from around the UK, by entering your postcode you'll be able to get results from the area you live.