Ofcom have released coverage information from the UK’s major providers of 3G, 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone. It makes for depressing reading for anyone who owns a 3G device such as an Internet enabled mobile phone or a mobile broadband Dongle. Coverage is patchy at best and none existent in great swathes across the country. Scotland and Wales are particularly poorly served, but that does not stop sales staff in high street stores in areas with little or no coverage pushing 3G.
I have a mobile broadband dongle from 3, which I bought to ensure I had Internet access when I am away on holiday for access to the Summits on the Air web site so I could alert my activations and to watch the DX cluster. At home if I get the in to the right spot it is much faster than my land line broadband, but more times than not when I have been in the Lake District, North Yorkshire, Devon, Cornwall, Scotland and Wales it has not worked. The dreaded no network message appears too often for my liking. If I had seen the coverage maps in the Ofcom document before I committed to an 18-month contract I do not think I would have bothered. The whole thing should be making the network providers squirm but I cannot see anything changing in the near future and they will continue to tell lies about how wonderful their services are. The UK’s data infrastructure continues to become a laughing stock as we loose ground to third world countries.