At one time or another one of the UK’s ‘big four’ has touted its network superiority by offering customers the greatest mobile data speeds or coverage, but EE thinks it’s time for the industry to offer greater transparency to the figures behind those claims.
Networks currently use population coverage as the primary metric when citing total network coverage, but as we’re not all evenly distributed across every square mile of this green and pleasant land that doesn’t actually offer an accurate representation of who offers the best overall coverage.
EE wants to spearhead a shift towards the adoption of geographical coverage to more realistically plot where a carrier’s network coverage actually reaches and on Wednesday November 23rd, the company’s CEO, Marc Allera sent an open letter to the UK’s other telecoms players and regulators such as Ofcom, suggesting that it was high time a change was made to better and more accurately inform customers of what they’re paying for.
“We’re asking our peers and the mobile industry to get ‘Clear on Coverage’. All operators should publish clearer geographic coverage information, and we’re seeking support from Ofcom as the independent source of information on mobile coverage and quality. We want to make it easier and clearer for consumers to know where they will and won’t get coverage, and which network is the right one for them.”
Whilst nobody would berate EE for pushing for the industry to offer greater clarity on such matters, it’s worth noting that the timing of this publicised move is no coincidence.
EE has just switched on its new 800MHz spectrum across 700 sites, helping elevate its overall 4G geographical coverage to 75 per cent of the UK, meaning it offers greater coverage than any of its rivals. By the end of 2017 the network is hoping to achieve 92 per cent (geographical) coverage and by 2020, 95 per cent coverage, which will effectively guarantee signal for its customers wherever they are in the UK.
Whilst moving the goalposts does effectively place EE’s efforts in the limelight beyond that of its rivals, the network says it will continue to use geographical data as its network’s primary coverage metric, even if rivals decide not to, meaning that for the time being, their claims of superior coverage would ring true as far as consumers would be concerned.