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Mobile Coverage Explorer : GIS data: Home

Mobile Coverage Explorer overview

Mobile Coverage Explorer is a representation of areas covered by mobile networks around the world. The data are compiled and generated by Collins Bartholomew from submissions by mobile network operators who are members of GSMA, the trade body for GSM, the Global System for Mobile Communications.

Mobile Coverage Explorer data are provided as polygon vector data shapefiles, that may be processed and viewed using ArcGIS, QGIS, or other geographic information systems software.

Current GSMA mobile network coverage visualizations

GSMA provides current-year web visualization tools for national mobile network coverages through two websites:

Appropriate use of Mobile Coverage Explorer datasets

These Mobile Coverage Explorer shapefile datasets are licensed for the University of Pennsylvania through the Penn Libraries. It is important to understand appropriate use for these datasets.

  • The coverage data are for research, scholarship, and educational use only by current Penn students, faculty, and staff only.
  • The coverage data may not be used for commercial purposes. For clarification, 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.
  • All screen images derived or generated from the coverage data should incorporate proper attribution.
  • The data may not be redistributed in their raw form.

Mobile Coverage Explorer shapefile datasets

Each annual Mobile Coverge Explorer ZIP archive contains:

  • Separate ESRI shapefiles for three global mobile network types: GSM (2G), 3G, and 4G. Aggregated coverage for local network providers within a country are presented as polygons
  • Separate "inclusions" ESRI shapefiles, starting with 2013 coverage. These identify individual local mobile network providers for the three global mobile network types. A country's local mobile network providers are presented as point features, located at the country's centroid.
  • PDF-format user guide.

The Mobile Coverage Legacy ZIP archive contains:

  • Separate annual ESRI shapefiles, for global GSM (2G) networks, 1999-2004 and 2006-2009, and for global 3G networks, 2006-2009. Aggregated coverage for local network providers within a country are presented as polygons.
  • PDF-format user guide.

Mobile Coverage Explorer data are provided in WGS84 datum (EPSG:4326), with a nominal resolution of approximately 260m on the ground at the equator.

For additional information, consult the most recent Mobile Coverage Explorer User Guide.

YearFileCoverage
1999-2004,
2006-2009
MobileCoverageLegacyWGS84.zipGSM (2G) : 1999-2004, 2006-2009
3G : 2006-2009
2011MobileCoverageExplorerWGS84v201112.zipGSM (2G), 3G, 4G
2012MobileCoverageExplorerWGS84v201212.zipGSM (2G), 3G, 4G
2013MobileCoverageExplorerWGS84v201312.zipGSM (2G), 3G, 4G. Inclusions
2014MobileCoverageExplorerWGS84v201412.zipGSM (2G), 3G, 4G. Inclusions
2015MobileCoverageExplorerWGS84v201512.zipGSM (2G), 3G, 4G. Inclusions
2016MobileCoverageExplorerWGS84v201612.zipGSM (2G), 3G, 4G. Inclusions
2017MobileCoverageExplorerWGS84v201712.zipGSM (2G), 3G, 4G. Inclusions