UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom has singled out Vodafone as the only UK mobile operator not to meet its 3G coverage target.
All UK mobile operators were required to roll out services to 80 percent of the UK by population when 3G mobile spectrum licences were awarded in 2000, which later increased to 90 percent in 2010.
In a report released on Thursday, Ofcom diclosed that Vodafone is 1.4 percent short of the 90 percent coverage requirement, while rival mobile operators O2, EE and Three all managed to meet the target on time.
Ofcom has given Vodafone a small extension, and has said the mobile network has until the end of 2013 to ensure that 90 percent of the UK population is covered by its 3G services. This will involve rolling out 3G to more locations.
Ofcom said in a statement, "Vodafone has put in place a plan to bring itself into compliance with the 3G coverage obligation by the end of 2013. This will involve rolling out 3G to more mobile masts than Vodafone had originally estimated as being necessary.
"Ofcom has reviewed this plan, and believes it to be credible, but will closely monitor Vodafone's implementation of the plan.
"In light of Vodafone's compliance plans, Ofcom has decided not to take any enforcement action at this stage. It will assess Vodafone's compliance in January 2014 and depending on the position at that time, the possibility of taking any further action will be considered."
Vodafone responded to Ofcom's report, and told V3 that it is confident it will meet its new target.
A Vodafone spokeswoman said, "Our 3G licence includes an obligation to cover 90 percent of the population and Ofcom is fully aware of our plans to ensure compliance by the end of this year.
"Our network investment stands at more than £900m this year alone and we remain on track to deliver indoor coverage across 2G, 3G and 4G to 98 percent of the population by 2015, two years ahead of the regulator's deadline."
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