The best and worst UK cities for 4G coverage revealed

4th May 2017
Posted By : Alice Matthews
The best and worst UK cities for 4G coverage revealed


When planning your next move, perhaps you should take into consideration the results of consumer group Which? And analyst OpenSignal’s recent report. After measuring data from mobile phones across 20 UK cities, the best and worst locations for 4G coverage have been revealed.

Analysis of over 500 million data readings, taken from over 30,000 users of the OpenSignal app, found that Middlesbrough is the best place to get connected, with an average 4G availability of 82.7%, while Bournemouth is the worst with only 67.5%. London was ranked 16th of the 20 cities studied.

This latest report comes a few months after a government infrastructure watchdog found that the UK’s 4G mobile coverage is much less than that of Japan and the US. Globally, the UK was ranked only 54th.

Table courtesy of Which?

The report found that there is a huge disparity in download speeds amongst different cities in the UK. Brendan Gill, Chief Executive of OpenSignal, stated: “The mobile data experience isn’t the same in every city for UK consumers. Users found signals more often in Middlesbrough than in Manchester and faster 4G connections in Stoke than in London.”

While these results seem to paint a grim picture of UK 4G connectivity in the 20 major cities, it is even worse in rural areas. The average UK phone user can only access 4G 65.1% of the time.

While Middlesbrough boasts the widest 4G coverage, with an average 4G download speed of 20.8Mbps it is one of the slowest. The report investigated average download speeds and concluded that with a speed of 26.6Mbps Stoke-on-Trent is the fastest city and Brighton is the slowest at 17.6Mbps.

Writing for The Guardian, Charles Arthur stated: “UK 4G coverage is worse than in Peru. We need a minister for the internet.” Additionally, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has said he wants to make the UK a ‘world leader’ in 5G. Is it time that high speed internet connectivity is ranked as a basic human right? Or should we focus on improving other areas such as poverty or inequality?

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