United Kingdom regulator Ofcom to investigate Vodafone, BT on data coverage

Joanna Estrada
October 5, 2018

Ofcom has launched investigations into Vodafone and EE over claims the mobile phone giants provided inaccurate information about their data coverage in rural areas.

Sections 135 and 136 of the Communications Act 2003 reflects a general requirement for operators to "provide [Ofcom] with all such information as they consider necessary for the objective of carrying out their functions".

" Most importantly this data must be accurate, not least because the regulator will use it to help inform their policy work and to develop other features / reports etc. (e.g. coverage maps)".

In a post on its site, Ofcom revealed that it has launched an investigation after discovering mistakes made by Vodafone which led the telecom to under-estimate its 4G coverage in rural areas.

EE - which is owned by BT - apologised for any confusion it had caused, and said it had updated its coverage maps.

Vodafone said it "may have been inadvertently under-reporting the extent of our 4G network coverage".

Vodafone, Britain's third-biggest mobile operator, said its discrepancy was due to the fact that it submitted data adjusted for the signal customers actually receive, rather than the theoretical signal strength used by Ofcom.

EE had not responded to our request for comment by the time of writing.

Ofcom conducts network testing itself as well as collating information from the networks themselves - but mobile network nerds have long moaned that the information available is insufficient to give a true picture of United Kingdom cellular coverage.

At this stage we don't know what those errors were or how significant they are, which is partly what Ofcom are trying to establish.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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