Skip to main content

4G LTE surfing speeds have nearly halved in the UK over the last year

As more folks get on board with 4G phones and tariffs, the speed of LTE connections in the UK is slowing down, unfortunately.

This is according to a new report from consumer watchdog Which, in conjunction with OpenSignal, which looked at 3G and 4G speeds and coverage across the country using crowd-sourced data.

EE was found to have the best 4G coverage (not surprisingly, as it had a big head-start with its LTE rollout), but Vodafone won in terms of the fastest 4G service. Vodafone averaged 13.2Mbps with its LTE connections, and EE was second on 11.8Mbps, followed by O2 on 10.5Mbps, and then Three in last place on 9Mbps.

However, all was not peachy on the 4G front overall, as the report noted that the average UK LTE surfing speed had fallen considerably, from 19Mbps in September 2013, to only 10.2Mbps as of August 2014.

That's close to a halving of speed, although 10Mbps is still plenty nippy enough for a mobile connection of course.

Related: EE hits 5.6 million 4G subscribers, set to blast past 2014 target

Which notes that the reason is simply the volume of people now signing up for 4G services, as that inevitably clogs the bandwidth, even though networks are constantly adding new LTE cell towers and improving coverage across the UK. Evidently, they can't move fast enough to keep up with the uptake of 4G phones and contracts from consumers.

Let's just hope the downward trend doesn't continue, as it could get problematic...

While Three did come last in terms of 4G speeds as we previously noted, there was better news for the network on the 3G front where it came top of the heap on 4.5Mbps, ahead of EE on 4Mbps.