Vodafone avoids fine for missing 3G targets

Ofcom confirms Vodafone has now met its requirement for 3G coverage across the UK and will not be fined for its late completion

Ofcom today confirmed Vodafone would not be fined for missing targets regarding 3G coverage across the UK.

The telecoms regulator had set a deadline of June 2013 for all of the UK’s major operators to offer 3G coverage to at least 90% of homes across the country.

However, despite O2, EE and 3G all meeting the target, Vodafone fell short, serving just 88.66% of homes as the summer deadline passed.

Ofcom met with the operator and hammered out a plan to ensure it would reach the 90% figure by the end of the year and, luckily for Vodafone, it kept its promise.

“Ofcom takes the requirements of its licensees very seriously, and breaches of these obligations can incur a penalty,” read a statement from Ofcom. “In this case, once informed by Ofcom, Vodafone provided a plan to address the shortfall. This involved work to upgrade 129 mobile transmitter sites, which was completed on time.”

“Having taken these factors into account, and the margin by which the target was missed, Ofcom has decided that it will not take any further action on this occasion.”

With all the operators up to speed with 3G, Ofcom is turning its focus to other mobile coverage targets, such as the obligation of O2 that came as a condition of the spectrum it bought in 2013 to cover 98% of the population of the UK with 4G when indoors by 2017.

The regulator will also be carrying out research into the quality of mobile reception and coverage, such as information on the proportion of dropped calls experienced by consumers experience, and has promised to release a report in the spring revealing the performance of 3G and 4G mobile broadband across the UK.

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