Scottish mobile phone coverage lagging behind UK, says Ofcom

Mobile phone coverage lagging behind the rest of the UK. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Mobile phone coverage lagging behind the rest of the UK. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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MOBILE coverage in Scotland is still lagging behind the rest of the UK, a new report from Ofcom suggests.

The communications regulator found the country has the lowest proportion of 3G and second lowest proportion of 4G coverage from at least one network of all the UK nations.

Data provided by the UK’s four national 3G mobile network operators shows 99.6% of UK premises had outdoor coverage from at least one 3G network in May 2016, while the figure was 97.9% for Scotland.

Meanwhile, 92% of premises in Scotland were in areas with outdoor 4G coverage, compared with 97.8% UK-wide.

READ MORE: Could lighthouses provide the solution to poor mobile phone coverage

Just over 58% of premises in Scotland had outdoor coverage from all four 4G networks - up 21.4 percentage points compared with last year, although this was the slowest increase across the UK nations.

Take-up of a 4G service was also lower in Scotland than in the UK as a whole, at 40% compared with 48%.

While 2G is considered satisfactory for calls and text messaging, 3G is considered the minimum required to access mobile data services, and 4G offers faster download and upload speeds.

A plan to increase and improve mobile coverage in Scotland has already been agreed between the Scottish Government and operators.

READ MORE: Scottish Government announces plans to boost mobile coverage

The Government said it will work with the industry to “maximise commercial investment in 4G mobile in Scotland, and ultimately, to support 5G-ready infrastructure across the country”.

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