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Ofcom to Release Next UK Mobile Broadband Performance Study in 2013

Friday, Jul 20th, 2012 (7:50 am) - Score 622

The telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that it will not release the next major study of UK Mobile Broadband speeds and performance until “the beginning of next year at the earliest“; almost two full years after its first report.

Ofcom’s last Epitiro backed report into mobile internet performance was released in May 2011 (here) and revealed that the average mobile download speed was just 1.5Mbps (Megabits per second), which increased to 2.1Mbps in areas of “good 3G coverage” (HSPA).

Since then most operators have upgraded to the latest HSPA+ technology and the next generation of “4G” LTE services are due to surface within the next year or two. The government has also directed Ofcom to ensure that future mobile broadband coverage is extended to reach “at least98% of the population.

The regulator will thus require a new means of testing all this and in April 2012 signed a new deal worth £238,100 with SamKnows, its currently appointed technical partner for fixed line broadband ISP performance testing, to include the study of Mobile Broadband speeds. Since then little more has been said.. until now.

A spokesperson for Ofcom told ISPreview.co.uk:

In terms of UK Mobile Broadband performance, we are indeed working on an update, but it is likely that this will only be issued at the beginning of next year at the earliest.“.

As reported earlier this year, the SamKnows research contract runs from Autumn 2012 to Spring 2015, which will result in Ofcom publishing six reports (i.e. two each year); much like they already do for fixed line broadband speeds.

The study itself will look at everything from download speeds to performance by time-of-day and location (rural vs urban). At this stage it’s unclear how SamKnows will go about collecting the data, although one recent study conducted by the BBC (here) used a special Smartphone App to collect similar information.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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