The number isn't the same for every network though. If you are an EE subscriber, you will be able to access 4G 60.6 per cent of the time, while Vodafone and O2 subscribers have to make do with 4G access 57 per cent and 56 per cent of the time respectively.
Ofcom's smart cities report is out; EE still at the top
However, Three finished bottom of the charts, offering 4G access to its subscribers across the country just 39.8 per cent of the time.
As per the results, the UK lags 39 other countries where phone users can access 4G signals at least 60 per cent of the time. This means that even though mobile broadband speeds offered by UK mobile networks are the fastest in the world, the reach isn't even close.
The ‘State of Mobile Networks: UK’ report, published by OpenSignal in association with Which?, also took a look at average download speeds on 4G signals across the country. On this front, Three came out tops, offering download speeds of 18.7 Mbps. EE followed closely behind with 17.8 Mbps while O2 and Vodafone offered just 12.1 Mbps and 11.8 Mbps on an average.
The lop-sided result will be an eye-opener for smartphone users who will have to decide between enjoying the fastest 4G speeds or choosing one with the widest reach. Based on the results, EE seems to be an ideal choice, offering the widest reach and offering a decent download speed of 17.8 Mbps.
“Almost everyone now uses a mobile phone service and it’s not good enough that the UK is lagging behind so many countries with our 4G network coverage. Increasing 4G access s?hould be a priority for mobile providers and Ofcom must continue to push them to make this a reality,” said Richard Lloyd, executive director at Which?.
“While it’s clear the UK is making progress in building out powerful 4G networks, it’s obvious there is still some work to do to extend coverage further," said Brendan Gill, CEO at OpenSignal.
UK slam dunks the world in mobile broadband speeds
In March, Ofcom published results of a study which it conducted to capture 'real world' service quality levels of 4G networks in bigger cities like Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London and Norwich. The study included metrics like phone call success rates, video streaming quality as well as download, upload and web-browsing speeds. EE emerged as the winner in all five metrics.
If you are planning to relocate to another part of the town or elsewhere, you can use Ofcom's Mobile Coverage Checker to search for the best available networks in specific regions. This online tool uses data from the big four operators, namely EE, Three, Vodafone and O2 to offer a consolidated summary of network coverage in any part of the country.
The tool also includes colour coding over areas, choosing green for the best coverage and red for the least likelihood of coverage. The tool will not restrict itself to mere signal strength, but will also show voice and data coverage, coverage inside and outside of buildings and areas where there are natural obstructions to coverage, such as valleys and hills.