Mobile Broadband Coverage (Global - 1km)

The World Mobile Broadband coverage is a 1km resolution raster grid (1/0) representation of cellular mobile wireless Internet access. The grid is derived from Collins Bartholomew’s GSMA Mobile Coverage Explorer database and was computed using both operators’ submission to Global System for Mobile Communication (GSMA) and OpenCell ID cell tower database.

The dataset includes operator’s submission coverage for 3G with strong signal, 4G strong signal and 5G, sourced from the network operators from submissions made directly to Collins Bartholomew or to GSMA, from operators who provide roaming detail for inclusion in the GSMA’s Network Coverage Maps web application.

This data is supplemented with coverage created from OpenCellID tower locations. These derived locations have been used as the center points of a radius of coverage: 12 kilometres for GSM networks, and 4km for 3G and 4G networks. No 5G data yet exists in the OpenCellID database. These circles of coverage from each tower have then been merged to create an overall representation of network coverage. The dataset uses 3G, 4G and 5G.

More information on Collins Bartholomew's Mobile Coverage Maps at

Data Quality

Operator submissions are an incomplete data source. The percentage number of operators that have submitted their coverage data compared to the total number of operators who are members of the GSMA with licenses is provided for each year, for each technology.

OpenCellID database has several limitations:

  • Values for the radius of coverage from tower locations are estimated;

  • Tower locations are derived from data collected from mobile phone users and so the coverage tends to be concentrated along routes and built-up areas;

  • Only a small number of Android or Blackberry apps collect data and so the coverage tends to be concentrated in countries where certain apps are popular.

  • The accuracy of tower locations is dependent on multiple measurements to the same tower. The tower’s location is the average position of mobile phone users receiving signals from that tower

  • The derived coverage does not take account of obstructing factors such as terrain variations.

Because of these limitations, the OCI data is intended to fill the gaps where network operators have not yet submitted coverage data and should be viewed as an approximation only.

Use Constraints

Access to data is limited to FAO internal users.

The Coverage Data is for research use only and may not be used for commercial purposes; for clarification, the use of the data to support research that is partially funded by a corporate source does not constitute a commercial purpose. The Coverage Data may be represented in research results as static images, tables or text as necessary to convey research findings, and all screen images derived or generated from the Coverage Data should incorporate the following acknowledgement: Coverage Data © Collins Bartholomew and GSMA 2020. The data may not be redistributed in its raw form.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

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Last Updated August 5, 2022, 15:11 (UTC)
Created October 12, 2021, 08:17 (UTC)