UK 4G Mobile Coverage Lags Behind

Mobile phone customers in the UK are only able to connect to a high-speed 4G signal 53% of the time according to a new study. It compared the UK unfavourably to 39 other countries where users can access 4G 60% of the time or more.

Larry Caudell

The report from consumer group Which? and mobile coverage experts OpenSignal found that on average EE customers had the best 4G coverage, able to access it 60.6% of the time.

It was followed by O2 at 59%, Vodafone at 57% and Three at 39.8%.

Not having access to 4G leaves consumers having to rely on slower download speeds with 3G.

The report urged Ofcom to push providers to improve access to the faster speeds.

Its findings were based on data collected from more than 30,000 registered users of OpenSignal’s mobile app which takes a background reading every 15 minutes to calculate the proportion of time users can access 4G.

Three fared better when looking at 4G download speeds, offering an average of 18.7Mbps, sharply up on last year. EE clocked up an average 17.8 Mbps with O2 at 12.1Mbps and Vodafone at 11.8Mbps.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: “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.”

About the Author