Follow Us on Twitter

Mobile networks: what they are and how they work

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

'Mobile Networks: What They Are and How They Work' explains the main factors that determine why base stations need to be sited where they are. It has been produced in part to accompany the new Code of Best Practice on Mobile Network Development (2013), which provides guidance primarily to mobile network operators, their agents and contractors, and to local planning authorities.

Mobile networks: what they are and how they work

89.9 Million Mobile Subscriptions

Mobile telecommunications are vital for the UK’s economic competitiveness and in promoting social inclusion. There are now 89.9 million subscriptions in the UK. In Q1 2015 61% of UK adults used their mobile phone for internet access. Tablet ownership is 54% of UK households. Operators are working with Ofcom to extend the benefits of mobile communications as widely as possible; 99.7% of UK premises (homes and businesses) had outdoor 2G coverage from at least one operator; 3G coverage is slightly lower at 99.3% and 4G has reached 89.5%.

Smartphone ownership 

Two thirds of all adults (66%) now own a smartphone, this is on a par with laptop ownership. The proportion of adults that accessed the internet on a mobile handset increased to 61%. Over half of households (54%) had a tablet computer. Twenty eight percent of individuals now own an e-reader.