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New York City USA Thrashes London UK for 3G Mobile Broadband Speeds

Tuesday, Oct 16th, 2012 (8:30 am) - Score 770

The latest RootMetrics study of Mobile Broadband speeds has revealed that Three UK delivers the fastest connection in London (T-Mobile was the slowest), where the average download speed is 2.265Mbps (Megabits per second). But mobile speeds in New York were on average found to be four times faster (8.5Mbps).

RootMetrics claims to have conducted almost 16,707 “on-the-ground tests” across both cities (11,413 in London and 5,294 in New York) to reveal its findings, which also found that the average mobile upload speed over a 3G connection in London was just 1Mbps; that compares with 4Mbps in New York. Note that London in this study is represented by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

The testing found wide discrepancies in mobile internet performance around London. For example, Blackwood Ave in Chingford Mount delivered speeds of 12.95Mbps over an O2 connection. Elsewhere commuters living in Chelmsford, Maidstone and Guildford were on average found to experience “significantly slower mobile internet” (across all networks) than those living in Watford, Slough and Dorking.

Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO and President, said:

With mobile internet use soaring, having a fast, reliable data connection has become as important as having a consistent mobile signal. It’s quite amazing to find such a vast disparity in services between two cities that are rival destinations for global business and tourism.

Are Londoners getting a good deal on their mobile phones contracts? It’s hard to say. For customers who use a phone primarily as a phone, there’s little to differentiate each network. For mobile internet however, there are clearly significant issues with specific networks in specific areas.”

Speeds varied according to both location and operator choice, although Three UK (score 78 out of 100) was declared the “clear winner” thanks to its mobile internet and text performance. Sadly T-Mobile came last with a score of just 45 for mobile internet performance. In terms of voice call quality, the study could not find any clear difference between the operators.

The Fastest Mobile Internet Operators for London (GLA)
1. Three UK.
2. O2.
3. Vodafone.
4. Orange UK.
5. T-Mobile.

The good news is that EE (T-Mobile, Orange UK) have already started rolling out a new 4G (LTE) mobile network in London and more operators are set to follow in 2013, which means that faster speeds and better coverage are already on the way.

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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