4G provider Vodafone has announced a multi-million pound investment in its network across Coventry with a view to providing over 98% of the city’s population with 3G or 4G mobile coverage.
At the end of last year a report from Which? and OpenSignal suggested that mobile phone coverage in Coventry, and across the West Midlands in general, was relatively poor when compared with other parts of the UK. While EE was found to offer the best 4G coverage in the region as a whole, notably in Birmingham and Stoke, Vodafone was found to offer the most regular 4G signal in Coventry. The announcement of increased investment in the city by Vodafone builds on those foundations.
The upgrade of Vodafone’s network across Coventry includes the introduction of a 4G overlay system. This is designed to improve coverage both indoors and outdoors for voice calls and mobile internet. It will also provide increased network capacity to areas of high customer concentration where there is likely to be increased demand. Once the network upgrade is complete Vodafone will have updated 100% of its sites across Coventry.
In addition to upgrading the 4G network, Vodafone’s commitment to investing in Coventry also includes its local stores. Located in the Precinct, the Coventry store was recently one of the first to be refitted according to Vodafone’s new Global Design.
Demand for 4G data in Coventry is high and Vodafone has already invested a great deal in providing coverage in the area, which has led to a big increase in mobile data traffic. 4G traffic in the city is growing and has nearly doubled over the past twelve months. During a single week average data traffic in the city currently equates to 670,000 hours of online browsing, and data use in September was equal to streaming almost 19 million songs.
Vodafone customers in Coventry are consuming almost two and a half terabytes of data on average per day which Vodafone says is equivalent to “the entire capacity of the Ricoh Arena all streaming The Specials complete album.” The city saw a peak in data use during the recent Wasps versus Northampton Saints rugby match, with a spike that corresponded to 6,400 hours of extra online browsing. LCC, an independent technology consultancy, found that Vodafone’s indoor and outdoor 4G coverage in Coventry was better than any other network.
In addition to upgrading the 4G network, Vodafone has also improved its 3G services in Coventry. This has resulted in increased 3G coverage for businesses and consumers with quicker mobile internet and High Definition Voice technology.
Vodafone’s investment in Coventry is part of a nationwide investment of around £1 billion this year, following a similar amount spent in 2014. This nationwide upgrade includes bringing 4G services to almost 650 UK cities and towns as well as thousands of smaller villages, investing £200 million in its London network, and upgrading its 3G network across the country. In addition the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme will be introducing 3G to around a hundred remote rural communities for the first time.