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Netradar Finds UK Mobile Internet Speeds Slower than Most of Europe

Monday, February 9th, 2015 (8:45 am) - Score 705

Measurements of mobile Internet speed taken during the course of last year by UK and EU users of the free Netradar.org app have shown that the United Kingdom scored an average download rate of 5Mbps (Megabits per second), which places us below France (8.4Mbps), Germany (6.1Mbps), Italy (5.4Mbps) and many others. In addition, Three UK delivered the fastest speeds for Britain.

The Netradar application, which is developed and globally run by Aalto University in Finland, also revealed that the fastest Mobile Broadband connections in Europe were found in Denmark (22.3Mbps), Switzerland (16.6Mbps) and Norway (14.8Mbps). Meanwhile the slowest were Ukraine (0.3Mbps), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1.0Mbps) and Moldova (1.8Mbps).

The study also noted that there were “remarkable differences” between the different British Mobile Network Operators (MNO). For example, the average downlink speed for Three UK was 6.3Mbps, while T-Mobile (EE) clients measured 5.6Mbps, Vodafone delivered 4.9Mbps, Orange UK’s (EE) users got 3.6Mbps and sadly O2 scored just 3.1Mbps.

Average Download Speed (Kbps) Country Maximum Recorded Download Speed Average Latency (ms)
22,303 Denmark 139,521 155
16,590 Switzerland 83,332 119
14,803 Norway 100,267 165
11,579 Sweden 130,640 158
11,246 Finland 227,055 132
10,492 Belgium 90,402 170
8,576 Poland 64,779 219
8,370 France 100,847 191
7,430 Slovak Republic 71,502 168
7,412 Latvia 95,204 152
7,321 Slovenia 69,253 272
7,307 Iceland 57,127 171
7,092 Portugal 92,808 263
6,665 Hungary 118,628 188
6,460 Malta 22,159 273
6,222 Greece 66,008 368
6,189 Ireland 43,342 188
6,178 Estonia 69,645 173
6,142 Germany 170,576 277
5,684 Austria 79,240 223
5,601 Netherlands 86,171 323
5,399 Italy 67,602 282
4,956 United Kingdom 79,057 307
4,656 Spain 54,533 254
4,572 Bulgaria 26,988 633
4,365 Czech Republic 66,023 180
4,321 Croatia 65,576 234
4,317 Lithuania 27,595 369
4,309 Luxembourg 62,456 363
4,015 Faroe Islands 4,874 72
3,874 Monaco 8,131 207
3,836 Serbia and Montenegro 52,547 364
3,566 FYROM 44,898 320
3,492 Albania 12,690 247
3,254 Montenegro 19,242 278
3,116 Turkey 27,672 413
3,060 Belarus 25,991 369
2,964 Russian Federation 73,183 495
2,319 Cyprus 11,706 343
1,900 Romania 70,846 544
1,782 Moldova 60,554 609
1,034 Bosnia and Herzegovina 7,462 520
255 Ukraine 13,563 661

It should be noted that such results can also be affected by package choice, the limitations of Smartphone and Tablet chipsets / modems (e.g. some don’t have 4G capable chips or use slow 3G to save battery etc.) and it’s not known how the different hardware choices or combinations across countries might impact these results.

Not to mention that modern devices often multi-task their data usage, which could also impact results if more than one app is using data. The balance of any rural vs urban bias or impact of local network congestion is also unknown.

In fact mobile performance is generally very difficult to pin down due to a wide variety of factors that may impact performance and so such tests should always be taken with a pinch of salt. Never the less it is still an interesting slice of data, albeit worth noting that separate reports from Akamai (here) and Ofcom (here) appear to be considerably more optimistic.

So far, the Netradar app has been installed almost 200,000 times and their database currently holds 5 million measurements from all around the globe.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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