UK mobile networks LOSE to France and Germany on data speeds

Crowdsourced study doesn't agree with anyone else, though

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Mobile internet speeds are slower in the UK than in France and Germany, says yet another mobe coverage survey.

This survey is crowdsourced by Aalto University and it has to be read with a little caution, as while the research has 1,250,020 data points, 1,144,213 of them were captured in Finland and only 10,298 in the UK.

It used the Netradar app to measure performance.

The research compiles data over the whole of 2014, which means some of the data is more than a year old. The study found that the average achieved download speed of a mobile internet connection in the UK was 5.0 Mbit/s. For comparison, in France the average measured mobile internet speed was 8.4 Mbit/s, in Germany 6.1 Mbit/s, in Spain 4.7 Mbit/s and in Italy 5.4 Mbit/s.

Within the UK, Netradar found Three to be the fastest network with an average downlink speed in users' measurements of 6.3 Mbit/s. T-Mobile clients measured the second fastest download speeds (5.6 Mbit/s). Vodafone was measured to be the third fastest (4.9 Mbit/s) and Orange's users got the fourth fastest download speeds (3.6 Mbit/s). O2's mobile internet users measured an average download speed of 3.1 Mbit/s.

These findings are very different to those of other tests, notably RootMetrics, which consistently finds EE, with its widespread carrier aggregation, to be the fastest network. When we asked Professor Jukka Manner of Aalto University why T-Mobile and Orange might have different figures, he said that sometimes SIMs are configured differently, adding that his researchers have seen different results for users on MVNOs and host networks.

The prof’s findings are that the people who have the fastest mobile internet connections in Europe are in Denmark (22.3 Mbit/s), followed by Switzerland (16.6 Mbit/s) and Norway (14.8 Mbit/s). The slowest mobile internet is in Ukraine (0.3 Mbit/s), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1.0 Mbit/s) and Moldova (1.8 Mbit/s).

The information comes from an impressive array of devices, with over 5,000 smartphones in the database and apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Nokia X, Meego, Symbian and Jolla/Sailfish. So only the Firefox user needs to feel left out.

The university is looking for interesting ways to mine its data. You can see a coverage map here. ®


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