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Mobile and broadband checker

About the mobile and broadband checker

This FAQ is also available in Welsh.

General information

Ofcom uses data from the Ordnance Survey to provide the base dataset used to assess broadband and mobile coverage for properties in the UK. This data is updated in our checker three times a year, so some properties may not be identified at least until these updates have been implemented.

Please go to your provider’s website to see status updates about any outages that may be affecting your services.

Mobile coverage checker: frequently asked questions

The map shows the coverage of the four main mobile network operators in the UK: EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three. All other mobile operators in the UK provide their services over these networks. Examples include:

  • Lebara Mobile, Asda Mobile, Talk Mobile and VOXI use the Vodafone network.
  • Your Co-op, 1p Mobile, Utility Warehouse, Ecotalk, Plusnet, BT Mobile and Lycamobile use the EE network.
  • iD Mobile, Smarty, Freedompop and Superdrug Mobile use the Three network.
  • Tesco Mobile, Giffgaff and Sky Mobile use the O2 network.

Data Collection:

The mobile coverage map is based on coverage predictions from the mobile network operators. These predictions are generated using computer programs that simulate the way mobile signals travel from mobile masts and are blocked by any obstructions such as hills, trees, and buildings.

These coverage predictions are processed into a 100 meter by 100 meter grid matrix that covers the entire UK land mass. This data is then uploaded into the Ofcom Coverage Map for public consumption. To keep the map up to date, we periodically update the map with the latest available predictions from the mobile network operators.

Data Analysis and Verification:

To verify the data, Ofcom perform several tests in the real-world using dedicated measurement hardware across a sample set of different locations in the UK. These tests have shown that the predictions from computer models are generally reliable but cannot guarantee coverage is present in a certain area due to very local factors. Further information on these factors and details on how indoor coverage works can be found later in this FAQ.

The Ofcom produced map uses mobile network operators’ coverage predictions indicating signal levels at every location in the UK. However, each mobile network operator has a slightly different approach to displaying coverage on their own map, including assumptions on the handsets used, levels of prediction reliability and the expected signal loss when indoors or in a car. Because Ofcom's map brings all their predictions together in a single place and holds it to a single, independent standard, our map may display different levels of availability of coverage than those seen on the operators' websites. There may also be times when the Ofcom map and those of the mobile network operators are based on slightly different data and therefore show different predicted coverage.

Links to the operators' maps can be found here:

Select this option if want to see what coverage you could get across 2G, 3G and 4G. The resulting map will show coverage for 2G, 3G and 4G technologies only.

Select this option if you have a 5G compatible handset and subscription and want to see specifically where 5G may be available. The resulting map will show outdoor coverage for 5G technologies.

We are providing information on where it should be possible for 5G to be reliably offered as an option. ‘Very high confidence of coverage’ equates to a ~95% confidence level. ‘High confidence of coverage’ equates to a ~80% confidence level.

After typing in your postcode and selecting your address, a banner below the table of available services shows which operators are predicted to be providing 5G services in that area. This is based on data provided by the network operators. Some operators are in the process of validating their data, which may lead to some changes in predictions over time. Please see the outdoor map of available services to compare coverage.

The experience you receive will depend on a number of factors, including whether your device and contract are enabled for 5G, what service you are seeking to access and whether your provider determines if this service is best provided over the 4G or 5G network. It will also depend on how busy those networks are.

As 5G rollout becomes more widespread and to low-frequency spectrum, it will provide better indoor coverage. We will update our maps to include a view of 5G coverage indoors in due course.

We provide an API based on our Connected Nations Mobile data. This is the same data feed that powers this map. Details and guidance on the API can be found at the below link:

APIs: Details - Microsoft Azure API Management - developer portal (

The predictions on the checker are based on the average signal strength across an area based on calculations of how the signal is transmitted from an antenna. These average of these calculations will sometimes differ from some measurements made within that area. For example, on average there may be good coverage in a full postcode, but coverage in different parts of that postcode might vary significantly depending on very local factors, such as trees, buildings and seasonal foliage that cannot be accounted for in these calculations.

Geographical and environmental features such as trees, seasonal foliage, buildings, weather, and the distance from the network providers mast can all impact coverage.

Using your device when traveling could also impact performance. Cars, buses, and trains are typically made of materials that are difficult for radio signals to pass through which can cause signal loss. Inconsistent coverage may also be more noticeable when traveling since the area on average may have good coverage, however this may not be equal across the whole area.

Coverage can also be affected by the device that you are using. Some devices may perform better or worse than others on a certain service and factors such as cases or accessories could impact service reliability. Energy saving modes may also impact the network quality as the device tries to preserve power at the expense of operating at its full potential.

You may experience problems making voice calls or accessing mobile data services – even if a signal is available. This is usually because of congestion, where lots of other people are using the network at the same time and you are sharing the capacity of the mobile mast with them. Sometimes this can occur when you are in crowded areas such as a sports ground or shopping area, but you may also experience the effects of congestion when you are in a less obviously crowded area, but many other people are sharing the capacity of the mobile mast with you.

Indoor and in-vehicle coverage is subject to large variations. Each time signal passes through an object, it loses some of its strength. This loss can vary significantly depending on factors such as the thickness, quantity, and type of materials the signals must travel through. The Ofcom map reflects an estimation of signal loss for a typical house or vehicle, but in some cases the signal loss may be greater. For example, if you are in a basement or in a house with thick stone walls.

If you are experiencing problems with indoor coverage you may wish to consider some of the solutions that the mobile operators can offer. For example, all the main network operators now allow calls and texts to be made and received over Wi-Fi. You should contact your provider for more information.

Repeaters can also be used to improve your indoor coverage. These devices use outdoor signal to improve indoor coverage. This is done by positioning the device in an area with good outdoor signal so it can retransmit that signal indoors. Further guidance on repeaters can be found here:

Using a repeater to improve your indoor mobile phone signal - Ofcom

Mobile broadband is delivered using 3G, 4G and 5G networks. If you are in an area where your provider only has coverage from their 2G network you would only get an extremely low speed data connection, and web browsing and other services are likely to be very slow or unresponsive.

The speed and reliability of mobile data can also be affected by the device that you use. If you intend to use your mobile as your main broadband connection, you may be able to receive a more reliable service by using a home router that uses the mobile network rather than a fixed network to provide a broadband connection (known as a Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) router). Please note that not all mobile providers offer an FWA service. To find out if you have FWA coverage in your location, please check our broadband checker.

2G networks support voice calls, text messaging and very low speed data services. All handsets are able to connect to 2G networks.

3G networks support voice calls, text messages and mobile broadband. Most handsets support 3G connections, but some older phones and very basic phones do not. When 3G coverage is not available handsets will try and connect to the 2G network, where one is available to them.

4G networks support download speeds of more than 2 Mbps (often significantly more), and are used to deliver voice, text and higher speed data services (e.g. video streaming, fast internet browsing). Further information can be found here: What is 4G? - Ofcom

5G networks can provide more capacity to support more demanding uses simultaneously and the potential to support more sophisticated services, including low latency applications like augmented reality and virtual reality. Further information can be found here: What is 5G? - Ofcom

If you are connected to a 2G network your handset will usually display '2G', 'GPRS' or 'EDGE' at the top of the screen.

If you are connected to a 3G network your handset may display '3G', 'HSDPA', 'H+' or similar.

4G connections are usually displayed as '4G' or 'LTE' on the handset.

5G connections are usually displayed as '5G'.

While this guidance gives a good indication of the service you are using, factors out with the user’s control may mean that service is delivered by a different service.

This could be caused by a number of factors. Some likely reasons have been outlined below:

  • Your device may not be compatible with 5G. Please check with your device’s manufacturer for more details on your specific device.
  • Your device may be 5G compatible, but this has been disabled in settings. This can usually be checked in the Mobile Service section of your device’s settings screen.
  • Your contract may not allow connection to 5G. Please check the details of your service agreement with your network.
  • Environmental factors (as explained in this FAQ) could also impact one service more than another. For example, this could create a situation where 4G is available but 5G is not.

We deal with complaints from people and businesses, which helps us to take action against firms when they let customers down.

Parliament has not given us powers to resolve people’s complaints about their phone or broadband service. Instead, these can be dealt with by Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services . The process to contact these services has been outlined in subsequent sections of this FAQ.

Although we don’t investigate individual complaints, by highlighting problems you play a vital part in our work, and we might investigate a company if monitoring reveals a particular problem.

You should contact your mobile operator in the first instance if you are having coverage problems as they may have solutions for your problem. You'll be able to find contact details and their complaints procedure on their website or on your bill.

When an issue is discovered, contact your provider as soon as possible and try to describe the fault. Talk through the checks you have already carried out and explain how the problem is affecting your use of the service.

You might need to explain:

  • The times of day and locations where you are affected.
  • Whether it affects voice, text, and data.
  • Whether it is intermittent or continual.

If possible, send your provider a log of the interruptions to your service and the length of time each interruption lasted.

Step 1: Raise the issue to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme.

If your provider fails to repair a fault by the date promised, or you are unhappy with how long it is taking, follow their formal complaints procedure. This should be explained on their website or by their customer services team.

If your problem is still unresolved after eight weeks, you can complain to an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme. Ask your provider for a ‘deadlock’ letter so that you can refer your dispute to the relevant ADR scheme directly before the eight-week mark.

Your provider will tell you which scheme it is a member of, or you can use our ADR checker.

Step 2: Tell Ofcom.

If you have experienced faults or delayed repairs, please let us know by filling out our short monitoring form.

Although Ofcom does not investigate individual complaints, your help in highlighting problems plays a vital part in our work and we may investigate a company if monitoring data reveals a particular problem.

Check the provider's coverage before you buy a new contract (you can use our map and we would recommend that you also check the provider's coverage checker) and then try your coverage as soon as you get connected. Try using your phone in the places you know you'll need it (such as home, work and other important places). If you bought your mobile contract online or over the phone and either change your mind about your contract, or find that coverage is a problem for you, you can cancel your contract under the statutory cooling off period that applies to the first two weeks. If you bought your mobile contract in a mobile provider's shop, check with your provider as many offer a 'check your coverage' cooling off period for contracts bought in store for the first two weeks after you sign up.

Information on how to complain to Ofcom about your provider

Ofcom is unable to get involved in individual disputes, but we do log and monitor the complaints we receive to help inform our decisions.

Broadband availability checker: frequently asked questions

Standard broadband services deliver download speeds up to 30 Mbit/s. 

Ultrafast broadband services deliver download speeds  above 300Mbit/s. These speeds are typically delivered on a cable network or through a fibre connection to the home.  

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) is where the broadband service is provided over a wireless network, either via a mobile network or a dedicated wireless network. The coverage information is based on operators’ predictive modelling tools and localised issues may mean that particular premises may not be able to receive a service despite being predicted to do so.

If you can’t get a download speed of 10 Mbit/s and an upload speed of 1 Mbit/s, you can request an upgraded connection subject to eligibility criteria. You can make this request to BT, or to KCOM if you live in the Hull area. You do not need to be an existing customer of BT or KCOM to apply. 

More information is available on the Ofcom website. 

The predicted speeds used in the checker are provided by the leading UK broadband networks. If no predictions are shown for your address this does not necessarily mean that broadband is not available and we suggest that you check availability on the networks’ websites. 

While we aim to seek coverage information from all fixed broadband network providers in the UK, there may be some network providers we do not currently collect information from. If you would like your network to be included in our checker, please email us via  

There are a number of factors that affect the speed that can be received on a device, for example the performance of the in-building network and the number of devices that are also accessing online services at the same time.  

The length, age and repair of the line itself may also affect the performance of the line. In this case, this may be able to be addressed by your provider.  

The information for this coverage checker is collected from broadband network providers. Some, but not all, sell services directly to customers. Where the network provider does not sell their services directly to customers, you should be able to find information about the resellers of that network via the link to the network provider’s website included in our web checker.

Services may not be available at specific locations and/or at specific times for operational reasons. For example, access to a property to provide a new line may require permission from a landlord or the equipment required to provide service may need maintenance or upgrading. Speak to your provider to find out more details and estimated times for delivery. 

If your provider is not listed on this checker, please contact your provider and also let us know through the feedback link. We collect network coverage information from an increasing number of infrastructure providers, but there may be some - particularly smaller networks - that are not yet included. We are encouraging network providers to contact us so that we can collect and use data on their network availability. There may also be a delay between a provider deploying networks in an area and that service being available to consumers. Look out for marketing material informing you of when new services are available for you to upgrade to.

We only provide the names of network providers that have expressly given permission to include their names and web details on our checker. There may be situations where we have operator coverage data but have not yet received the necessary permissions to list the operator names.

As stated in our terms of use, Ofcom takes no responsibility for the content (or existence) of third party sites. These links aim to help you find service providers that can offer broadband to your property, but please use the feedback link to let us know if this is not the case. We will aim to work with providers to address the problem. However, there may be reasons preventing links to work for which are beyond Ofcom's control.