New independent survey investigates mobile connectivity across Cheshire
The Connecting Cheshire partnership worked with FarrPoint, an independent connectivity consultancy, to undertake a mobile coverage survey across the region’s main transport routes.
The Partnership, that comprises 4 local authorities across Cheshire: Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington borough councils, was established to help deliver faster broadband to areas where it had not been commercially viable to invest previously, in particular the outlying and rural communities. A number of intervention programmes have been delivered and the Partnership is actively exploring other initiatives to improve connectivity in Cheshire.
The findings from the survey will enable the councils to make data-driven decisions to improve digital connectivity in the region and better to understand where investment may be needed.
The survey focused on measuring 4G connectivity on motorways, A and B roads across local authorities of Cheshire West, Chester, Cheshire East, Warrington and Halton. Over 1600 km of road were surveyed during this research.
Some of the survey findings
The results of the survey found the following:
– A good quality outdoor* 4G service was recorded from one or more operators on 99% of motorways and 94% of A and B road across the region;
– 54% of the motorways had coverage outdoors from all four mobile operators (EE, O2, Three and Vodafone), and 36% of A and B roads across Cheshire;
– The mobile operator with the best coverage outdoors* on A and B roads was O2, whilst EE was the best on motorways.
Figure 1. Outdoors coverage by number of mobile operators available in Cheshire
Figure 2. Indoors/in-vehicle coverage by number of mobile operators available in Cheshire
Making data-informed decisions
Mike Dugine, Digital Sector Specialist, Connecting Cheshire said:
“Whilst 4G coverage is relatively good in most parts of Cheshire, some signal gaps remain an issue for residents, businesses and visitors in the region.
“The results from this mobile survey will help us make data-driven decisions on where to direct investment for improving mobile connectivity within our region. We believe that it is important that such decisions are supported with strong independent evidence.”
Chris Bond, Head of Data Analytics at FarrPoint, said:
“We are delighted that Connecting Cheshire chose to partner with us to independently map mobile coverage across Cheshire. Rather than just relying on carrier data and predicted modelling, which make it difficult to build an accurate picture of connectivity, the partnership, now have a holistic real-life view of mobile coverage in the area and will be able to make more informed decisions.
Having delivered many similar projects across the UK and Canada – we know how valuable this data is in resolving longstanding connectivity issues.”
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