The Connecting Cheshire partnership worked with FarrPoint to undertake a mobile coverage survey across the region’s main transport routes. The findings from the survey will enable the councils to make data-driven decisions to improve digital connectivity in the region and better understand where investment may be needed.
By (this will open in a new window)Chris Bond, Head of Data Analytics at FarrPoint
The Partnership that comprises 4 local authorities across Cheshire: (this will open in a new window)Cheshire East, (this will open in a new window)Cheshire West and Chester, (this will open in a new window)Halton and (this will open in a new window)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 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.
The results of the survey found the following:
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
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.
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.
*Good outdoor 4G threshold is expected to deliver a 98% probability of making a 90 second telephone call or a 95% chance of getting a download speed of at least 2Mbit/s.
FarrPoint's mobile coverage mapper is an autonomous network monitoring solution that provides real-life (not modelled) performance statistics of all available mobile networks. It has been used to map and improve mobile connectivity in cities like Newcastle and rural areas accross the UK and Canada.
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