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Ofcom plans 4G and 3G speed tests for December 2013

Ofcom is planning to carry out performance tests on the UK's 4G and 3G networks in December.

The telecoms regulator wants to find out who provides coverage where and what speeds are achieved in order to "help consumers make informed purchase decisions and better understand the performance benefits of 4G over 3G mobile services."

The plans were outlined in Ofcom's latest annual report which was released this week.

A spokesperson has reportedly told Techradar that Ofcom will be looking to appoint a partner through a tender process in the coming months to help with the assessment.

"When we go through the tender process we will look at what different companies can offer," he said. "We will also have a set of base requirements."

He also revealed that the performance metrics are yet to be determined.

As well as checking speed and performance, the audit will provide an indication of the biggest 4G players in the country.

EE is currently leading the 4G rollout after launching the network first in October 2012 (opens in new tab). Ofcom auctioned off a large proportion of the airways for 4G (opens in new tab) use in February this year with Vodafone, BT, Telefonica, Three and EE all winning some spectrum.

The audit office is currently investigating the auction (opens in new tab) after it returned just £2.3 billion, £1.2 billion less than expected and just 10 per cent of the £22.5 billion raised through the 3G auction 13 years ago. Ofcom hopes to publish the report by spring 2014.

Tomas is co-founder of Lucky Pilgrim, a team of journalists, photographers and art directors who connect brands to audiences through words, imagery and design. He was formerly editorial director at Chapel and managing editor at Courier magazine, and was a writer for ITProPortal as well as The Independent, EastLondonLines, The Sunday Times Magazine, and Croon.