Historical GSM Coverage Maps
Charting the development of the mobile world…
This collection of Historical GSM Coverage Maps is from a project commissioned by the GSM Association to produce a series of sponsored printed maps, for free distribution at events such as Mobile World Congress.
The series was produced by Europa Technologies between 2005 and 2009 and includes coverage maps of the world, Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. The project was kindly sponsored by roaming services supplier Comfone (Bern, Switzerland). While the maps are no longer up-to-date, they give a fascinating insight into the evolution of coverage and, particularly, the roll-out of 3G technology during the period.
Roaming helps ensure that a travelling wireless device (typically a cell/mobile phone) is kept connected to a network. In wireless telecommunications, Traditional Roaming is a general term referring to the ability for a cellular customer to automatically make and receive voice calls, send and receive data, or access other services, including home data services, when travelling outside the geographical coverage area of the home network. For example, should you travel beyond your cell phone company’s transmitter range, your cell phone would automatically hop onto another phone company’s service, if available. The convenience of International Roaming has been a key driver behind the global success of GSM as a mobile communications platform.
Regulation in Europe
In the European Union, the regulation on roaming charges has been in force since 30 June 2007, forcing service providers to lower their roaming fees across the 28-member bloc. It later also included EEA member states. On 11 June 2013, the European Commission voted to end mobile roaming charges. It was originally planned to abolish roaming charges within the European Union by 15 December 2015. These changes were, however, controversial and the final implementation was delayed until June 2017.
All maps are compilations of mobile coverage known to Europa Technologies at the time of publication. While all reasonable efforts were made to ensure that such information was correct, we do not accept any responsibility whatsoever for any errors, omissions and inaccuracies that may exist.
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