London trails behind rest of UK for 3G

LONDONERS are some of the most poorly connected urbanites in the UK, with 23 other main British cities receiving faster mobile internet speeds than the capital, according to a uSwitch survey.

Of the 30 largest UK cities by population, Portsmouth tops the chart with an average download speed of 3.554 Megabits per second (Mbps) – almost 25 per cent higher than London – closely followed by Liverpool and Stoke-on-Trent, both above the 3.25 Mbps mark.

The capital ranks a paltry 24th, with 3G users in London downloading data to their mobile phones at an average speed of 2.712 Mbps.

Birmingham, the second most populated city in the UK, positions 19th on the ladder, with third biggest city Leeds scraping 10th place.

A uSwitch survey of over 1,000 smartphone users this month also revealed that 39 per cent of consumers are unhappy with their 3G mobile connectivity, with 47 per cent complaining of slow download speeds.

As many as 91 per cent said they experience 3G blackspots, where there is no coverage at all.

Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, said: “Despite Government efforts to bring Britain into the digital age, it seems the road to seamless telecoms infrastructure is not an altogether smooth one.

“Major UK cities, including London, are being left in the slow lane.”

With thousands of tourists descending on London for the Olympics this summer and increasing demand for mobile data, the 3G network could fail to provide sufficient coverage.

“The rollout of fourth generation mobile internet (4G) will be crucial if Britain hopes to remain an economic force on the world stage and compete in the global market,” Doku added.