December 19, 2018

Ofcom’s Connected Nations 2018 report highlights continuing progress in extending coverage

Ofcom’s Connected Nations report 2018 shows that mobile coverage continues to increase across the whole of the UK, with almost all homes now able to get good indoor 4G signal from at least one operator, while three-quarters (77%) are covered by all four networks (up from 65% last year). These results reflect the continuing investment made by the four main operators in enhancing and extending their networks.

While the report focuses on coverage it also highlights that operators are also in a race to add capacity across their networks to meet current and future demand. Current trends suggest that the average mobile user, who on average uses 1.9GB of data per month, could be utilising up to 90GB of data by 2025. Mobile operators remain committed to helping the UK remain a world leader in mobile technology and are currently planning for the next generation of mobile connectivity – 5G.

Extending coverage to rural areas remains a challenge, as highlighted by Ofcom, and operators are considering ways to tackle this, but they cannot do it alone. The last percentages of coverage represent the most challenging and economically difficult areas of the UK to extend mobile signal. New partnerships and policy initiatives are required that bring together national and local government, operators and landowners. Mobile UK, through its Building Mobile Britain campaign, is actively working with all stakeholders to identify existing barriers and to propose new initiatives to facilitate enhance connectivity across the whole of the UK.

Gareth Elliott, Head of Policy and Communications at Mobile UK, said:

“These results highlight the continuing investment and commitment mobile operators are making in the UK to extend and enhance mobile connectivity. Rapid increases in demand for services and data are being met with equally ambitious plans, including new technology and planning for 5G. Mobile operators are committed to further enhancing their networks and with Mobile UK continue to work with Government to find solutions to achieving that goal.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Mobile UK is the trade association for the UK’s mobile network operators -  EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.
  2. Ofcom's Connected Nations 2018 report can be found here.

About Building Mobile Britain

Building Mobile Britain logo

Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.

See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain

Media Contacts

Gareth Elliott
Head of Policy and Communications
Tel: 07887 911 076

< View all news items