Economic Geography 2017

15 December 2017

In 2016, Ofcom published a report entitled “Economic geography: an analysis of the determinants of 3G and 4G coverage in the UK”. This included an econometric analysis of factors that affect the level of 3G and 4G mobile coverage available to consumers in different areas. This report sets out to update that analysis using 3G and 4G coverage data for 2017.

We had two primary aims in undertaking this analysis:

  • to assess whether and to what extent possible explanatory factors (for example, the characteristics of the local population and the topography of the local terrain) influence the likelihood of 3G and 4G mobile coverage; and,
  • to assess the extent to which regional differences in 3G and 4G mobile coverage can be explained by these factors.

Throughout the report, we find that much of the variation in 3G/4G coverage between different parts of the UK can be explained by differences in the likely demand for, and cost of providing, mobile services. As the deployment of 4G by the MNOs is still underway, it is perhaps too early to draw inferences from the remaining unexplained regional differences in 4G coverage.

Read the report

Economic Geography 2017 - An analysis of the determinants of 3G and 4G coverage in the UK (PDF, 1.3 MB)