Which UK Network Offers The Best 3G Coverage?
Every major UK mobile network offers a 3G signal to the majority of the UK population, in terms of population percentage. However, reception can be highly variable, particularly to parts of the countryside and coast.
We've gathered links to the coverage maps of EVERY major UK network - as well as for the larger virtual mobile operators (who use the network of one of the larger ones).
Note: a 2G signal will allow calls and texts, as well as slow Internet access. A 3G signal offers the same, plus a much faster Internet connection. Mobile broadband will use either the 2G, or 3G connection - whichever is available.
3G Network Coverage Maps
So Which 3G Network is Best?
Judging by the numbers supplied by the networks themselves, 3 coverage is the most comprehensive, along with Orange, and T-Mobile. Each claims to service over 90% of the population of England, Scotland, and Wales with a 3G signal.
However it's often impossible to know whether 3G reception is good enough in the exact spot where you need to use your phone or mobile broadband modem.
3G Coverage Tips
- Borrow a friend's 3G phone to see what the reception is like in a particular spot (like your home or office)
- Different phones are better or worse than others at using the available signal. Don't automatically assume that because one phone model gets good reception, a different model will also work properly in a particular spot.
- Buy your phone online! Due to distance selling regulations, you get a 7 day cooling off period when you buy online. Buy your phone and check the reception where you are the same day you receive it. Bad reception? Simply send the phone back and cancel the contract. You may not be able to do this if you buy in a shop.