August 24, 2011
study exposes patchy 3G mobile data coverage in Burnham
patchy nature of 3G mobile data coverage in the Burnham-On-Sea
area has been exposed this week by a major new BBC study.
Despite operator claims of high 3G coverage, there are still
many so-called 'notspots' in the Burnham and Highbridge area,
according to the map, where no coverage is available.
The BBC gathered the data last month by inviting people to download
a mobile phone app that collated the 3G coverage their handsets
were getting. 44,600 volunteers took part and testing firm Epitiro
has analysed some 1.7 million hours worth of data from across
map - which can be accessed here
- displays a green blob to indicate where 3G coverage is accessed,
purple for slower 2G coverage, grey blobs for no coverage and
clear areas indicate no data.
map at the top of this page shows merged coverage from all the
operators, but the results suggest that the performance
of different operators varies enormously across the Burnham area.
While the M5 motorway appears to be well covered by 3G, large
swathes of Burnham and Highbridge appear not be covered by major
operators like O2 (shown on the smaller map above).
Mobile coverage has become a huge issue as people rely increasingly
on their smartphones to surf the web and send email, as well as
making phone calls.
BBC's crowd-sourcing survey is well beyond any scale seen by the
mobile industry in this country or any other," said Gavin
John, chief executive of Epitiro. "Over 44,000 volunteers
participated with 42 million locations tested from every county
in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For the first
time consumers have the means to see 3G coverage precisely where
they live, work and travel."
O2 said it "welcomed the crowd sourcing experiment",
but added that more detail - for example signal quality - would
have been useful while Three said it was concerned that the picture
painted by the map was driven as much by the number of people
from each operator taking part as by actual coverage.
What's your opinion? Should 3G data coverage be improved in
the Burnham-On-Sea area? Contact us here
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