Despite the fact that 3G first entered the UK over 10 years ago, the growth from 0-99 percent coverage has been a slow and arduous journey. Although our price plans are cheap, a fast, reliable mobile connection is hard to find on any carrier, at least on a nation-wide scale. Personally, I carry a Vodafone and T-mobile/EE SIM with me all the time because I know that – at one point or another – one will let me down. Although that’s the case, our airwave-controlling body, Ofcom has released its annual report which points to a huge increase in mobile data consumption.
Some interesting tidbits came from the report. According to the analysis, there are now 81.7 million mobile connections in the UK. Just in case you weren’t aware, that’s more mobiles than people. And when you consider a good majority of those people are young children without phones or octogenarians, it makes it even more baffling. Across those connections, we Brits digested a healthy 20 million GB of data, miles ahead of the 9 million we consumed in 2011.
And, as you will have noticed, 3G/Mobile Broadband coverage in the UK has increased a lot in the last 2-3 years. Only 0.9% of the population can’t get a 3G signal now from at least one network. The number of premises that can receive 3G signal from every carrier has risen to 77% too. This is mostly down to the emergence of the 900MHz used by O2 in its “3G900″ service on compatible phones.
As 4G rolls out over the next few years, this download figure will undoubtedly increase further as speeds get faster and it becomes more convenient to use 4G over fixed line broadband. I know I can’t wait, since it doesn’t look like my broadband is going to go much over 3Mbps, whereas 4G – when it arrives – should easily triple that speed if not more.
Do you use mobile data more these days?