OFCOM reports highlight benefit of multi-network SIM cards


OFCOM publish a series of Connected Nations Reports containing crucial statistics and figures we can use to measure the effectiveness of a multi-network SIM card for your IoT application.

The uplift in landmass coverage using a multi-network SIM card instead of a single network SIM card can be evidenced by analyzing the OFCOM connected nations report 2022. The full report can be downloaded here - Connected Nations 2022: UK report (ofcom.org.uk)

Page 34 publishes coverage statistics from all mobile networks and partial coverage from at least one network and this is a crucial point as a multi-network SIM card will get signal where there is partial coverage but a single network SIM card may only get signal in places where there is full coverage.

  • Full Coverage – 70%
  • Full and Partial Coverage – 22%
  • *No Coverage – 8%

Taking these statistics as baseline we can deduce that across the UK a multi-network SIM card gets coverage in an additional 31.4% of UK landmass than a normal SIM card. Next we can dig a little deeper using the OFCOM connected nations update autumn 2022 statistics which shows the geographic area not covered by any operator (not spots).

  • England – 2%
  • Northern Ireland – 3%
  • Scotland – 17%
  • Wales – 10%

From these numbers we can deduce the landmass coverage offered by a multi network SIM as follows:

  • England – 98%
  • Northern Ireland – 97%
  • Scotland – 83%
  • Wales – 90%

There is another important point to make and that is within these areas of coverage there are significant bandwidth fluctuations between the networks which have signal. We have seen bandwidth speeds fluctuate between 1mps and 50mpbs on the same SIM card and modem but on a different mobile network. Signal and bandwidth performance fluctuates over time as new mobile cells are installed, old ones removed and 2G/3G sunsetting begins, not to mention environmental factors. This is why our network steerer is such an important part of the KeySIM solution so you can instantly force your modem to change from a bad network to a good one instead of relying on standard network selection.