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Best mobile Internet revealed

A survey from comparison site Broadband Genie suggests that the UK's mobile internet coverage is getting patchier - and that some providers are significantly faster than others.

Experts from the site took broadband dongles from 3 Mobile, O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone on a 350-mile round trip by train from Cambridge to Bournemouth. Each provider was rated using streaming audio and video from YouTube, Spotify – and BBC Radio 4’s everyday story of farming folk, The Archers.

T-Mobile topped the table with a combination of high average speeds and reliability – though, overall, service for the UK’s mobile broadband consumers is patchy.

Tests highlighted a wide variation in speed, with T-Mobile peaking at over 3Mb/s. Orange, the network that last month landed a 22-year-old student with an unexpected mobile internet bill of £8,000, trailed the pack with an average of less than 1Mb/s.

"Getting mobile broadband to work well on the move presents some real problems for providers, especially in more rural areas," Chris Marling, editor of Broadband Genie told BBC News. "But as we work towards establishing a universal minimum standard for UK broadband, these challenges need to be met."