Network Coverage Checker



Ofcom also provide a mobile coverage checker on their website to check the indoor/outdoor availability of service.

The map uses signal level predictions provided by the four UK mobile network operators. Ofcom has also tested actual coverage in various locations around the UK, and used the results to set the thresholds for voice calls used on the map. They will continue to conduct testing, work with the mobile operators and analyse consumer feedback with a view to improving the accuracy of the map.

The map may differ from those provided by the network operators. Ofcom’s map uses data from the mobile operators about how strong they think signal levels are at every location in the UK. Ofcom carried out field tests to measure the signal strength required for mobile calls to work reliably on commonly used handsets. Each mobile operator has a slightly different approach to displaying coverage on its own map, including assumptions on the handsets used, levels of call reliability and the expected signal loss when indoors or in car. Because Ofcom’s map brings all of their data together in a single place and holds it to a single, independent standard, their map may display different levels of coverage than those seen on the operators’ websites.

The mobile coverage map is based on coverage predictions from the mobile operators. These predictions are generated using computer programmes that simulate the way mobile signals travel from mobile masts and are blocked by obstructions such as hills, trees and buildings. Coverage can also be affected by the device that you are using.

Ofcom’s own measurements of mobile signals in different parts of the UK have shown that the computer models are usually accurate, but can sometimes be wrong. Predicting indoor and in car coverage is subject to large variations as signal loss can vary significantly depending on the materials used. The Ofcom map reflects a typical signal loss for a house or car, but in some cases the signal loss may be greater. For example, if you are in a basement or in a house with thick stone walls.

If you are experiencing problems with indoor coverage you may wish to consider some of the solutions that the mobile operators can offer. For example, all the main network operators now have solutions that allow calls to be made and received over Wi-Fi.

Even when a signal is available, you may experience problems making calls or accessing mobile data services. This is usually because of congestion, where lots of other people are using the network at the same time and you are sharing the capacity of the mobile mast with them.