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UK Mobile Broadband Delivers Less Than 25 Percent Of Advertised Speeds

According to a report published by research company Epitiro, the average speed achieved by mobile broadband services across UK is only a fraction of what mobile companies advertise.

The study found that the average mobile broadband speed reaches a mere 0.9mbps based on data collected from over 1.4 million tests from more than 1300 testing agents across UK; Epitero used its own inhouse ISPosure software.

The data was collected from all the broadband providers in the UK including O2, 3, Orange, T-Mobile, Virgin Media and Vodafone. Not surprisingly, the average ping time at 150ms was significantly higher than what is deemed acceptable for game playing and roughly three times more than on a normal fixed line broadband service.

Amongst the various information revealed is the fact that the fastest test agents performed on average just below 2mbps, at 1.8mbps. This is arguably less than the 2mbps mentioned in Lord Carters' interim Digital Report as the absolute minimum universal broadband speed.

On average, the average claimed "up to speed" of offers by mobile phone companies is 3.6mbps although the number of "up to" 7.2mbps offers is rising fast. Furthermore, to make things worse, during peak hours, speeds dropped by around a fifth due partly to the fact that networks are heavily congested during this period.

Uploading figures were better than predicted with an average of 270kbps. Epitero also found out that early morning speeds tend to be significantly higher than during day time. No surprise here.

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Epitiro chief executive Gavin Johns said in a statement: “This exhaustive study confirms the general consensus that mobile-broadband services are functional and, while currently slower in practice than their fixed-line competition, continually improving. That we recorded a few measurements at relatively higher speeds is confirmation that mobile-broadband technology is capable of much more.”

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.