In its State of the Internet report published around the same time of last year, Akamai pegged the average mobile broadband speeds in the UK at 20.4Mbps, miles ahead of Denmark which clocked 10Mbps to finish runners up. This time, UK improved its average internet speed to 27.7Mbps and Germany finished second in Europe with 15.7 Mbps.
No 4G half the time you travel across the UK!
In contrast, the average internet speeds in the United States increased from a mere 4 Mbps last year to 5.1 Mbps in the first quarter of this year. Countries like Slovakia with 13.3 Mbps, France with 11.5 Mbps and African nations like Algeria and Kenya recorded greater average internet speeds compared to the United States.
Even though the report paints a great picture for British mobile internet services, the real picture isn't that rosy. The ‘State of Mobile Networks: UK’ report, published by OpenSignal in association with Which? back in April found that 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- stalling at just 53 per cent.
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. Three finished bottom of the charts, offering 4G access to its subscribers across the country just 39.8 per cent of the time.
It's confirmed! Manchester is the mecca of mobile performance in UK
The report 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.
“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 should 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.