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UK and EU Mobile Broadband Speeds Fall While Roaming Q1 2018

Thursday, April 19th, 2018 (5:53 pm) - Score 1,253
european union including united kingdom map

Ookla has published a new table, which reveals how much your Mobile Broadband (3G / 4G) speeds could drop within the EU when you roam outside of your home country. For example, the average local mobile download speed in the UK is 26.16Mbps but this drops by -19.4% (21.08Mbps) when roaming.

Overall the mean (average) download speed in the EU when customers are at home is 30.57Mbps (Megabits per second), but that slows by -16.6% to 25.50Mbps when Europeans roam across a border. Sadly we don’t get a country-split for each of the ranked states but it’s still an interesting table.

The results aren’t all negative either, with Italians enjoying a +15.4% increase in download speeds when travelling abroad (Estonians, Latvians and the Portuguese also saw faster downloads abroad). As usual Ookla’s results stem from their popular Speedtest.net service, which is used by millions of people across the world.

Mobile Download Speeds
EU Countries | Q1 2018
Country Local (Mbps) Roaming (Mbps) % Change
Austria 31.62 28.66 -9.4%
Belgium 44.56 26.00 -41.7%
Bulgaria 35.71 22.31 -37.5%
Croatia 34.75 31.36 -9.8%
Cyprus 25.34 23.40 -7.7%
Czech Republic 38.30 25.78 -32.7%
Denmark 42.55 22.40 -47.4%
Estonia 31.98 34.24 7.1%
Finland 32.68 29.99 -8.2%
France 32.35 24.47 -24.4%
Germany 26.03 26.00 -0.1%
Greece 34.48 28.40 -17.6%
Hungary 46.10 26.01 -43.6%
Ireland 19.98 19.00 -4.9%
Italy 30.32 34.98 15.4%
Latvia 27.37 28.97 5.8%
Lithuania 36.80 28.28 -23.2%
Luxembourg 42.43 22.46 -47.1%
Malta 42.14 25.05 -40.6%
Netherlands 53.07 25.46 -52.0%
Poland 22.05 20.29 -8.0%
Portugal 26.45 27.44 3.7%
Romania 28.74 21.95 -23.6%
Slovakia 28.79 23.73 -17.6%
Slovenia 28.42 27.15 -4.5%
Spain 31.94 24.32 -23.9%
Sweden 38.23 26.13 -31.7%
United Kingdom 26.16 21.08 -19.4%

Various reasons may exist for all these changes, such the technological differences between networks in other countries (both the network and radio spectrum bands), as well as alternative traffic management measures and perhaps also the fact that general data usage has surged since free roaming was introduced (example). Some performance drops may also be intentional, such as when balancing network load etc.

At present mobile roaming is still free for those of us in the United Kingdom, although it’s starting to look increasingly likely that the EU’s “Roam Like At Home” rules will cease to apply here once the Brexit process completes. Some operators, such as Three UK, have vowed to continue it regardless of Brexit but only time will tell whether or not they can hold to that pledge.

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar Anon

    Three’s roaming via Movistar drops to about 3Mbps in Alicante even with full bars and “H+”

    • Avatar Lomasz Tlim

      Three doesn’t have 4G in roaming and very poor VPN link.

    • Avatar AndyC

      Movistar has issues.

      i regularly get 24Mbps+ in our city but got less then 1Mbps in tenerife via Moviestar where as the wife-to-be got 22Mbps via orange. We are both on the same phones (samsung s5neo) and both on virgin mobile, only difference is i have the new purple sim where she is still on the old red one.

      there is quite a few posts on virgin mobiles forums.

  2. Avatar Joe

    “that general data usage has surged since free roaming was introduced ”

    Almost like making things ‘free’ increases use!

  3. Avatar Herve Shango

    Belgium!! and Italy has got more speed than the UK, there’s something seriously wrong with tories, they are not the sort of party that wants to invest in the UK internet infrastructure at all

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