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United Kingdom Ranks 26th in the World for Mobile Broadband Speed

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 (3:24 pm) - Score 1,999

The latest ‘Global State of Mobile Networks’ report from OpenSignal, which pooled 19 billion data samples from over 1 million users and devices (e.g. Smartphones), has ranked the United Kingdom 26th fastest in the world for Mobile Broadband (3G / 4G) with an overall speed of 15.13Mbps.

The data, which was collected between Nov 1st 2016 to Jan 31st 2017, puts South Korea right at the top of the table with an impressive mobile data download rate of 37.5Mbps (Megabits per second). However only three other countries were able to deliver overall speeds of 30Mbps+, while the Northern and eastern European countries managed to produce strong overall average speeds over 21Mbps.

Meanwhile the United Kingdom, which often likes to compare itself against the EU’s other major states (Spain, Italy, France and Germany), sits three places below Spain in the ranking. However we did beat Italy, Germany and France, although all five countries are fairly close together and the order may change in future reports.

opensignal 2017 global mobile broadband speeds by country

OpenSignal’s report also looked at 30 of the top urban (city) areas in the EU, which handed the top spot to Budapest in Hungary (42.8Mbps). However you have to look right down the list in order to find any cities in the UK, although we do manage to squeeze four into the table. Birmingham ends up being our top city with a score of 24.2Mbps and London trails near the bottom on 20.2Mbps.

opensignal_2017_mobile_broadband_speeds_in_eu_cities

At this point the report noted that fast networks don’t always equate to highly available networks. For example, in 10 of the 30 metro areas users found that they weren’t able to maintain consistent LTE / 4G connections more than 70% of the time. German cities overall fared the poorest, while Spanish, UK and Italian cities generally performed well in either the speed or availability category but not the other (German cities routinely fell to the bottom of the table in both metrics).

The study also looked at WiFi connectivity and pointed out that no country topped the Netherlands when it came to time spent on WiFi, with users in that country being connected to a WiFi access point some 68.5% of the time. The Netherlands also had some of the fastest overall cellular data speeds in the world, which shows that having a good 3G or 4G connection doesn’t necessarily lead to shunning WiFi.

The United Kingdom also came near the top for time spent on WiFi (58.67%). In general though, OpenSignal saw a high proportion of time spent on WiFi in the majority of the 96 countries analysed. Specifically, 38 of those countries had time on WiFi scores of 50% or greater, meaning in a large part of the world users are spending as much time connected to WiFi as they are to cellular (3G / 4G) networks.

Global State of Mobile Networks
https://opensignal.com/reports/2017/02/global-state-of-the-mobile-network/

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar MikeW says:

    I think we’re still paying the penalty for all the money sucked out of the UK’s mobile industry by the 3G spectrum auctions. Slow to deploy 3G, slow to deploy 4G.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      I’d say the squabbling between mobile operators, which delayed the roll-out of 4G, probably had a bigger impact. The challenge of getting masts hooked up to a decent capacity and power supply is another issue (more so in rural areas), but I’m not sure how we compare on that front with other countries.

    2. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      Problems with power and getting access to high speed backbone networks doesn’t really explain the rather poor showing in London. That just speaks of inadequate infrastructure and contention. Geographic coverage in rural is another issue.

  2. Avatar Dude Lebowski says:

    Meanwhile, in rural Scotland… I am getting 70-100 Mbps down and 50-80 Mbps up. Just give me unlimited usage, and I will stop complaining about my slow fixed broadband connection – promise!!

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