BBC to survey UK mobile coverage

The mobile operators in the UK have their own maps relating to specific network coverage, but no one has actually compiled an independent map of mobile phone data coverage in the UK. Until now that is.

According to Pocket-lint, the BBC is compiling such a map relating to the country's 2G and 3G services. It is being compiled in conjunction with network analysis firm Epitiro Well, you if you want to take part and have an Android smartphone. If you do want to take part in the survey, the app will run in the background to pick up the data, helping to creating that final street-by-street map for the UK. As long as enough people take part, that is.

The end result should tell you exactly where your best reception can be found, although we suspect you know that in general terms already. According to Ofcom estimates, current 2G coverage is around 91%, with 3G at 76%, the latter figure sounding rather generous, especially when you consider the kind of reception that's often available in rural areas.

Sadly, no speeds will be given as a result of the tests, although Ofcom, in conjunction with Epitiro, recently carried out a national test, with O2 and Vodafone coming out on top, averaging between 2 and 3Mbit/s. That compared favourably to Orange, which managed between 1Mbit/s and 1.5Mbit/s.

So why no iPhone involvement? Apparently that's because of the difficulty in making Apple devices collect such information in the background while other programmes are running. After the recent controversy over this issue, that's unlikely to change anytime soon.

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