New map can point the way in mobile blackspots

A national map of outdoor mobile phone coverage for 2G, 3G and 4G services for a range of providers has been published by ComReg, the Commission for Communications Regulation, which regulates the electronic communications and postal sectors.

With many mobile phone coverage blackspots identified nationwide — especially in rural areas — the map is designed to help consumers find out what phone services are available in their areas.

Earlier this year, 17 local authorities reported to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, that they had found nearly 400 mobile reception blackspots.

In 2017, all local authorities were asked to submit data, but 14 did not return data.

Of the local authorities that responded, some of the worst problems were in Co Longford with 84 blackspots, Galway City and County with 64, Kerry with 56, Limerick with 36, Carlow with 36, and Tipperary with 29.

In Munster, data was also returned from Waterford, indicating four blackspots.

But the new ComReg map showing the quality and prevalence of mobile phone coverage across the country for each provider is now the best source of information.

If one is buying a phone, one can look at the map first to see whether a phone will work in that area.

What is the Mobile Coverage Map?

The map shows ComReg’s predicted mobile outdoor coverage across Ireland and at specific addresses and/or Eircodes selected by consumers for mobile service providers (48, Eir, Lycamobile, Postmobile, Three, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Media and Vodafone).

Why does my Eircode not show any result?

Please check if you have entered your Eircode as shown on https://finder.eircode.ie/#/

What if my address is not shown in the drop down?

If your address is not shown you can type in the known area and then move the pin to the exact location where you want to check coverage.

What do the technology types 2G, 3G and 4G mean?

2G is for voice calls and text messages; 3G is for voice calls, text messages and data; 4G is for using your smartphone for data and voice.

What do the map’s coverage indications of very good, good, fair and fringe mean?

Very Good or Good means a strong signal with very good or good connections for 2G, or a strong signal with maximum or good data speeds for 3G and 4G. Fair means a fair 2G signal may be attained, but disconnections may occur. For 3G and 4G, it means fast and reliable data speeds may be attained, but marginal data with drop-outs is possible.

Fringe means disconnections are likely to occur with 2G, 3G, or 4G.

The map says I have very good/good/fair/fringe/no coverage but I disagree. What can I do about this?

Contact your service provider to confirm what coverage you can expect at your address.

Does the map pick up my location if I check from a mobile?

No. This is something that may be available in future releases of the map.

How much of my mobile data does the Coverage Map use?

Normal usage, for example, one location search, would typically consume somewhere between 1.5MB to 2MB. Heavy usage, for example, several searches or switching from one city to another, may consume in the region of 3MB.

Most of the data you will typically use is in respect of Google maps.

Does this map show broadband coverage?

No. This map is for outdoor mobile coverage only.

How has ComReg prepared the Coverage Map?

ComReg periodically receives accurate datasets of network architecture from each network operator.

A radio network planning tool is then used to process data and generate coverage predictions in tandem with a Digital Terrain Model provided by Ordinance Survey Ireland, along with clutter data from various service providers.

Can I make a complaint to ComReg about my mobile coverage?

Service providers’ obligations for mobile coverage are limited to their licence conditions.

However, changes in your experience should be raised with your service provider. Some service providers offer the option to test coverage at your location, with a cooling off period.

If you made a complaint to your service provider and allowed them 10 working days to resolve your issue, you can contact ComReg’s Consumer Line.

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