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Vodafone Avoids Fines After Bringing 3G Coverage Up To Regulatory Standards

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Vodafone UK has belatedly meet its regulatory requirements for 3G network coverage. Last November, the telecoms regulator, Ofcom said that most of the UK networks had met the an obligation to cover 90% of UK homes by June 2013 but that Vodafone had achieved just 88.66% coverage.

Vodafone subsequently agreed plans with Ofcom to bring itself into compliance with the 3G coverage obligation by the end of 2013. Following a further coverage assessment, Ofcom has now found that Vodafone met its obligation ahead of this deadline.

Ofcom said that it takes the requirements of its licensees very seriously, and breaches of these obligations can incur a penalty. In this case, once informed by Ofcom, Vodafone provided a plan to address the shortfall. This involved work to upgrade 129 mobile transmitter sites, which was completed on time.

Having taken these factors into account, and the margin by which the target was missed, Ofcom has decided that it will not take any further action on this occasion.

Ofcom has placed a coverage obligation on a licence acquired by O2, which requires the company to extend indoor 4G coverage to 98% of the UK population by 2017 at the latest. This will mean coverage of more than 99% of the UK population when outdoors.

The UK Government is also examining the issue of mobile coverage on trains. The Department of Transport announced in September that the rail industry is to roll out high speed mobile broadband on the busiest parts of Britain's rail network.

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Tags: vodafone  ofcom  UK