New one-stop mobile and broadband checker

31 March 2016

CheckerPeople and businesses can check the quality and coverage of mobile and broadband services by postcode, using a powerful new interactive tool from Ofcom.

The Mobile and Broadband Checker uses coverage, availability and speeds data, collected directly by Ofcom from major communications providers. This has not been readily accessible to consumers and businesses before.

Simply by entering a postcode, users can check mobile coverage, the availability of superfast broadband and average download speeds all in one place.

Ofcom’s original Mobile Coverage Checker, launched last year, has had more than 700,000 visits, helping users discover the quality of mobile coverage where they live and work.

The new tool includes latest information on mobile coverage, and adds important statistics on the availability and quality of home and office broadband in a given postcode. It shows:

  • whether superfast broadband services are available;
  • the average download speeds delivered by standard and superfast broadband;
  • where there is coverage for voice calls, and 3G or 4G data networks; and
  • the quality of mobile coverage inside and outside of buildings.

Businesses looking to relocate or expand to new premises, as well as house-hunters, can use the tool to help assess the quality of communications services in different areas.

Similarly, customers looking to upgrade their broadband package can check whether faster services are locally available and, if so, how superfast and standard broadband speeds compare on average.

People and businesses can also investigate whether their existing broadband service is underperforming, by comparing their connection speed against the average for neighbouring properties. This could provide useful evidence when contacting a provider with a service problem.

Sharon White, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: “This interactive map is part of our work to arm people and businesses with high-quality, accessible information, helping them make informed decisions about their communications services.”

The checker is online now at ofcom.org.uk/check-coverage

Smartphone cities report

Ofcom has also today published Smartphone Cities, a report comparing the mobile broadband and voice performance of the UK’s four national mobile providers - EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

Testing was carried out in five cities across the UK  - Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London and Norwich - between November and December 2015, using the latest available measuring equipment.

To capture a snapshot of ‘real-world’ service quality levels for 4G networks, a range of metrics were measured, reflecting the everyday usage habits of smartphone users.

These included download, upload and web-browsing speeds, video streaming quality, and phone call success rates.

The report is available to download from the Ofcom website.