UK slam dunks the world in mobile broadband speeds

UK has slam dunked the competition when it comes to mobile broadband speeds, offering higher 3G and 4G speeds than anywhere else in the world in the first quarter of this year.

This coincides with Ofcom's customer satisfaction survey back in December last year which measured overall satisfaction levels at 73 per cent for mobile broadband customers, up from 69 per cent in 2009, with O2 clinching the top spot with 78 per cent.

A new State of the Internet report published by Akamai has pegged the average mobile broadband speeds in the UK at 20.4Mbps, miles ahead of Denmark, which clocked 10Mbps to finish runners up.

In contrast, the United States posted a mere 4Mbps average mobile broadband speed in the first quarter, almost a fifth of what it is in the UK. Russia clocked almost twice that speed at 7.5Mbps in the same period.

So while some customers believe that network providers can do a lot better than they are now, 4G internet speed in the UK is almost a by-word when it is still is a concept on paper in many countries across the world. Average mobile broadband speeds in UK went up by almost 27 per cent compared to the year before.

In its paper termed 'Measuring mobile broadband performance in the UK,' Ofcom noted with a word of caution that overall 4G speeds in the UK are quite high given that the total number of connections is low compared to 3G connections. As 4G connections slowly become the norm in the coming years, the average speed could come down.

As of now, the lowest average 4G speed is faster than 33 per cent of average 3G speed across the country. However, in terms of top 4G speeds, Australia posted a high of 149.3Mbps compared to 90.9Mbps in UK.

In terms of fixed line broadband speed, the story wasn't as flowery for UK which averaged a mere 11.6Mbps compared to South Korea which came out tops thanks to an average speed of 23.6Mbps and Ireland which averaged 17.4Mbps.


UK has so far been a top performer in terms of mobile internet speeds since the advent of 4G networks. Despite this, the country has been plagued by numerous 'not-spots' which made it difficult for customers to access high-speed internet while on the go.

However, in what was great news for mobile users living in the 'not-spot' regions, Ofcom in February had amended their respective licenses so that over 90 per cent of the country is now covered under mobile signals. This was followed by a £5 billion investment decision between EE, O2, Three and Vodafone to improve mobile signal strength across the UK by 2017.

In addition, to make it easier for the major operators to extend their signal coverage across the UK, Ofcom has also promised to re-look into the license fees for the 900 MHz and the 1800 MHz spectrum bands, which should be sorted in the coming days.

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