The mobile phone coverage checker provides a one-stop answer for consumers and businesses across the UK who want to know how networks perform where they live or work, or even where they intend to move.
Users can either zoom in on the UK map, which is powered by data supplied by Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three, or enter a specific postcode to check. As well as showing the state of 3G and 4G data in the area chosen, it also classifies mobile signal, needed for voice calls and texts, and data coverage into three colour-coded categories: green; amber or red.
Green means that good coverage for calls and texts is likely, amber means that you may experience some problems and red suggests you are unlikely to receive a reliable signal. Each location shows data for coverage of 100 square meters and there is also an option to choose whether you want to know mobile coverage for inside buildings or outside.
The new map will be a great resource for people trying to source the most reliable mobile service for where they need to use it and takes advantage of new Ofcom research into the signal strength needed to provide a good consumer experience. The map also takes account of the increasing shift from handsets with external aerials to smartphones with internal aerials, which can sometimes be less effective at picking a signal.
Additionally, it also shows topographical information allowing users to identify areas where there are natural obstructions to coverage, such as valleys and hills.
Helping to improve mobile coverage and quality of service are key priority services for Ofcom. As well as supporting consumers and businesses in choosing the operator and service that most meets their needs, it will also boost competition between the four main providers, which in turn will be good for consumers.
Ofcom is inviting users to check their coverage experience and leave feedback to help refine the accuracy of the new map even more for a new version due out in the autumn.
In related work, Ofcom is seeking to improve the process for switching between different mobile providers and is actively working on ways to do this.