THE UK’s first 4G mobile service is broadly living up to its claims about faster mobile internet, though its geographical coverage remains patchy, according to research out today.
Mobile phone network EE launched its 4G connections in October amid much fanfare about its download speeds, which the firm said would be up to five times faster than 3G.
Tests by RootMetrics, released today, found that 4G customers could use mobile internet at speeds more than four times faster than those using 3G.
Its data shows that EE has delivered speeds in line with its pledge to offer data transfers at between eight and 12 megabits per second (Mbps).
Testers at nearly 100,000 sites in three cities recorded average speeds of 9.4Mbps in Liverpool, 11.8Mbps in Cardiff, and 7.9Mbps in Sheffield.
Speeds on 4G only were even faster, with Cardiff tests achieving an average of 16.2Mbs.
RootMetric’s testers were able to connect to the 4G network 71.3 per cent of the time in Cardiff, though this fell to 48.5 per cent in Sheffield and even lower outside the city.
The connection figures were similar to those seen when 4G launched in the US, RootMetrics said.
“When it comes to availability of EE 4G in city centres, the picture is positive if not universally excellent,” said RootMetrics chief executive Bill Moore.
“We see the percentage of 4G improving in line with other launches, but there are some notable variations like people in Cardiff getting a better service than those in Sheffield, despite paying the same.”
EE was not available for comment. The firm plans to roll out 4G in 27 more towns and cities in June.