LTE "significantly" outperforming 3G in the UK, finds Ofcom

News

Average LTE download speeds in the UK are more than twice those of 3G, new research from regulator Ofcom has found, with EE continuing its dominance as the country's best performing network.

Ofcom tested 3G and LTE networks across five cities in the UK - Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Newcastle and Poole/Bournemouth - taking more than 120,000 samples.

Average download speeds on an LTE network were 14.7MBps between October and December 2014, eight times faster than the 3G speeds of 1.6MBps. EE was top with speeds of 18.6MBps, Vodafone second at 16.4MBps, followed by O2 (13.9MBps) and Three (8.5MBps). The average 3G download speeds were 5.9MBps.

Upload speeds hit 13.6MBps during Q4, eight times faster than 3G upload speeds of 1.6MBps. EE had the fastest upload speed of 17.6MBps, followed by O2 (13.2MBps), Vodafone (13.1MBps) and Three (9.4MBps).

Elsewhere in the report, Three was found to have the best web performance, taking an average of 0.63 seconds to load a web page. Ofcom found latency was more consistent on LTE, with operators offering an average of 53.1 milliseconds.

Each of the operators was found to have improved its LTE coverage. EE's was up from 70 percent of premises in Q4 to 81 percent by the end of March. O2's shifted from 51 percent to 66 percent, with Vodafone moving from the same starting point to hit 65 percent. Three offered 53 percent premises coverage, with no historical data provided.

Ofcom had carried out similar tests last year but had conducted the research in different cities to its current report.

Claudio Pollack, Ofcom's Consumer and Content Group Director, said: "People are increasingly connected, communicating and sharing content on their mobiles while out and about.

"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."

Read more:

EE keeps lead as UK's best performing network

Open discussion needed to solve spectrum squabbles, forum hears​