When the 3G licences were dished out way back in 2000, the networks agreed that they would cover 80% of the UK population, this was then raised to 90% in 2010. The deadline for reaching this target was June 2013, however whilst o2, Three and EE managed this OFCOM found Vodafone missed the target by 1.4%. Vodafone have promised to rectify this by the end of 2013 and will be reassessed by OFCOM in January 2014, in the meantime they will be rolling out 3G to more masts than they originally planned.
Whilst OFCOM have the power to fine the network for missing the target, it has so far decided not to take any enforcement action against the company, although this may change if the target is also misssed in January. A spokesman for Vodafone had this to say “Our 3G licence includes an obligation to cover 90% of the population and Ofcom is fully aware of our plans to ensure compliance by the end of this year. Our network investment stands at more than £900m this year alone and we remain on track to deliver indoor coverage across 2G, 3G and 4G to 98% of the population by 2015, two years ahead of the regulator’s deadline.”