United Kingdom: 3G service survey crowdsourced

This morning, the BBC released a survey regarding the reach of 3G service across the United Kingdom. The BBC obtained its data the newfangled way, via crowdsourcing. In July, almost 45,000 people downloaded an Android app that allowed their mobile phones to be tracked for the survey.

And the outcome of the survey? The BBC found that about three-quarters of the time people in the UK appear to be able to access 3G coverage, though “notspots” (where users can access much slower 2G service) exist in many places. These notspots include a surprising number of areas within central London. There are also wide swaths of the country where no data came back from the crowdsourcing phone users.

The BBC’s multimedia survey allows readers to check coverage in their home postcodes. I found my own postcode (E2) to be generally well blanketed with 3G coverage, though not without its 3G-lacking pieces of the map.

The survey also points out that the country’s roads and railways are also undersaturated, with notably bad service along some heavily-used highways and train routes.

The BBC mentions the research of a startup called OpenSignalMaps, which has carried out a similar survey. OpenSignalMaps found that 3G is accessed just 58 percent of the time by users in the UK; furthermore, they have located 22,000 mostly rural places in the UK with no 3G service. Gwynedd in north Wales and Cumbria in northwest England are especially lacking in 3G service.

[Image: Flickr | William Hook]