UK 4G speeds have gone down by 50% this year, new report claims

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4G speeds in the UK has almost halved owing to increase in the number of users signing up for 4G networks, new report claims.

According to OpenSignal’s latest State of the Market report, produced in conjunction with consumer watchdog Which?, the average speed of 4G connections in the UK have fallen from 19 megabits per second (Mbps) in September 2013 to 10.16Mbps in August 2014. OpenSignal’s report was based on 68 million readings collected from 40,000 smartphone users.

The report found that Vodafone’s LTE network achieved best 4G speeds of 13.21Mbpsm followed by EE with 11,78Mbps, O2 with 10.50Mbps and Three with 8.95Mbps speeds.

Although Vodafone offered the fastest 4G speeds, it doesn’t account for the most widespread coverage. EE seemingly topped in terms of geographical coverage.

According to OpenSignal, an average EE customer spends just over half their time connected to 4G, while Vodafone, O2 and Three customers are on 4G for only 38 percent, 36.92 percent and 20.9 percent of the time respectively.

The report also revealed that London has the best 3G and 4G coverage in the country, while Wales accounts for the worst coverage.

Commenting on the report, Richard Lloyd, Executive Director at Which?, said “We’ve looked at consumers’ real-life experiences and found big differences in service between mobile phone providers, depending on where you live or work.”

“We’re calling on providers to publish the reliability and speeds their networks actually achieve so people can make an informed choice before signing on the dotted line.”

Head of marketing at OpenSignal, Samuel Johnston, said “As more people sign up to 4G and use the network, the average speed inevitably comes down. The average speed has nearly halved over the past year in the UK. There are several competing forces at play here – an increase in users slows the network down but the networks are constantly rolling out improvements and adding cell towers.”

‘We hope this report can draw better attention to the current state of mobile network coverage in the UK, and help consumers better understand how the networks differ in terms of speed and real-world coverage,” Johnston added.