We clear up some of the misconceptions about about Ofcom's latest report on mobile data speeds and signal in the UK. Read on for the full story...
Our mission is to provide you with the best possible mobile network experience and coverage, which is why we are investing £1 billion on our network and services this year – the most in our 30 year history. As a result, we take any feedback very seriously.
Today, Ofcom – the UK’s independent regulator for the UK’s communications industries – has released some data about the speed and reliability of the UK’s mobile networks, and we’d like to take a few minutes to explain the results. To find out why, read on…
Investing in ‘better’
Ofcom’s data looks at the performance of the UK’s mobile networks, specifically when it comes to data speeds – downloading and uploading from the mobile web. We know that there’s a much bigger story that needs to be told than just network speed at a given time of day, and as such we want to give you a wider picture of how we’re doing – one that’s backed up with long term independent data from a reliable third party organisation.
“We have invested hundreds of millions of pounds upgrading our network…”
“We have been supportive of Ofcom’s intention to provide consumers with independent, informative data on mobile network performance,” says Vodafone UK’s Head of Mobile Networks, Petek Ergul. “However, some of these tests were undertaken over six months ago, in a small number of cities and only taken in places where the majority of operators had coverage.”
Since the tests were taken in the spring, we have invested hundreds of millions of pounds upgrading our network, putting in the very latest technology, building thousands of new outdoor sites and deploying hundreds of indoor coverage solutions as well as rolling out 4G across the country. Moreover, as Petek explains, data we’ve received from the global standard in internet metrics, Ookla, offers a rather different result when it comes to speed:
“Based on analysis of Ookla’s NetMetrics data* between 1 June and 30 September 2014, taken from over 2.5 million tests, our download speeds are between 15-53% faster than our three main competitors on all Android and iOS devices connected via 2G, 3G or 4G.”
She went on to say: “what our customers care about is that their chosen service works, is delivered in a timely manner, the delivery quality is consistent and reliable and that annoyances such as buffering do not occur. We are investing £1 billion in our UK network and services this year alone and are already beginning to see a clear improvement in the service experienced by customers across the country, including more consistent download speeds, more reliable voice calling and far fewer dropped calls. We expect our customers’ experience and our network coverage to continue to get significantly better as the momentum of Vodafone Group’s Project Spring investment accelerates further.”
“We are pleased to see that Ofcom recognises the rapid growth of our 4G rollout.”
Petek also explains that we have lots of other big projects in the works: “we are pleased to see that Ofcom recognises the rapid growth of our 4G rollout to 51% of the UK population,” she says. “We have now brought 4G coverage to 347 cities and towns as well as thousands of smaller communities, while more than 99% of Londoners are now able to access Vodafone 4G services.
“We are also focusing on closing the digital divide between urban and rural areas through our Rural Open Sure Signal programme, which will be providing Vodafone 3G services to 100 rural ‘notspots’ across the UK. We named the first 30 communities only last week and look forward to announcing the rest by the end of the year.”
All in all, there’s a lot to take in. For more information on how we measure ourselves, head to vodafone.co.uk/our-network-and-coverage.
Any questions? Feel free to ask us anything in the comment section below. You can find out more about our £1 billion investment here. There’s information on the #ROSS100 project here, and everything you need to know about Vodafone 4G here.