Ofcom blasts O2 for poor 3G coverage

Ofcom (the Office of Communications), everyone's favourite quango, has released new 3G coverage maps by mobile operator. It's bad news for iPhone owne

O2 announced last week that it will exclusively sell the Palm Pre in time for Christmas and already has the rights to the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The lack of signal is bound to frustrate users of these sought-after handsets.

The Ofcom maps (which you see here) show areas where customers should be able to make and receive an outside call over a 3G network shaded in purple. Orange seems to fair best out of the main operators with a Jackson Pollock-style splattering of purple patches.

O2 on the other hand appear to have extremely patchy coverage with their map looking more like a winter wonderland.

However, operators produce their own coverage indicators which Ofcom admits provide more reliable guidance. It says the accuracy of its maps may not match the level produced by the operators themselves.

Prepared in January 2009, Ofcom's charts represent the area where mobile operators meet the regulator's minimum coverage requirements. They also don't give any indication of the data rates supplied or the number of users supported.

An O2 spokeperson told Stuff: "Our 3G network covers over 80% of the population. We have rolled out our network based on where we see demand and usage and concentrate on depth and quality."

How's your 3G coverage? Are you stuck in a black spot? Let us know in the comments below or on the forum now.