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4G is slowing down as more users sign up

4G Blog

Average download speeds across Britain’s 4G networks have fallen from 15.1 Mbps to 14.7 Mbps over the last 6 months according to an Ofcom study. The telecoms watchdog Ofcom warned “As more people are taking 4G services from mobile operators, it is likely to affect the average speeds being received”. This strain on services is being felt especially in London, where speeds are far below the average at only 13Mbps.

There is some good news for those already paying for the fledgling 4G service however. In the latest study it was confirmed that 4G is over twice as fast as 3G which only had an average download speed of 5.9Mbps. During the same period, 3G speeds had also fallen from 6.1Mbps despite many users switching to 4G. 4G also has an impressive upload speed advantage over 3G, being eight times faster than its predecessor at 13.6Mbps, which allows users to share content, pictures and videos faster.

The report also highlighted which were the best and worst performing 4G network suppliers. Britain’s largest mobile operator and the first to launch a 4G service, EE, was overall the fastest with average download speeds of 18.6Mbps, while Three languished at the bottom of the table with speeds of just 8.5Mbps. EE also covers the widest area, supplying 4G to 81% of homes and businesses compared to 53% for Three.

The drop in the national average may be due to slower services from Three and 02. Over the 6 month time frame, Three’s average fell from 10.7 Mbps to 8.5Mbps while 02 dropped by nearly two points to 13.9Mbps. Ofcom’s report concluded by stating “4G is delivering a significantly enhanced mobile experience and, as these services roll out across the UK, our research will support consumers when choosing the right mobile package for their needs”.

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