Try coming to a town like kings lynn. then you will find the meaning of SLOW mobile broadband. utter tosh
Want to avoid snail pace 3G downloads? Steer clear of Milton Keynes and nine other UK towns named as Britain's mobile broadband blackspots. Travel instead to Peterborough, which boasts the fastest speed: an average of 3.86Mb/s. Poor old Milton Keynes managed just 1.73Mb/s. The numbers come from broadband price comparison site …
As 3G is shared bandwidth the more people using it the slower it gets.. so in cities you'll get a lower average (with some outliers - I've had 6Mbps in some parts of Manchester).
Most of those speeds look to be so similar as to be effectively the same (given the natural variation with people hopping on and off the network between tests). It would be interesting to see the fastest - are they rural?
Obviously they're averages, not worst case (which would be 0 - hopefully everyone understands why). I would also expect the sample to be somewhat self-selecting, with most individuals who are satisfied with their 3G speeds to not be on the sort of crusade that would lead to search out apps to test it.
What would be more interesting would be an organised test - say to use your browser of choice (if you get any choice) to download a hefty web page and time it, from start to finish. Do this at a fixed time of day (lessay 17:30) every day for a month, outside every major rail terminus in the country and THEN see what the real-life speeds are like - correlated for location, network and phone.
Personally, I'm happy to get anything over 300kBit/sec
As most of the infrastructure was put in the late 60's chances are all the phone cables are probably aluminium, which is rubbish for DSL. (Has a higher resistivity than copper, and if its not properly connected, the connection, EG, but a engineer in a rush, the connection quickly degrades as Aluminium oxide forms.)
Am wondering if the Milton Keynes problem might be the amount of concrete and reinforced steel in all the buildings surrounding pretty much anywhere you want a mobile signal?
Ran into this problem recently when moving into a new house and waiting for BT. Away from the house we can get it, but there's a coal slag heap behind it which of course contains lots of iron ore and bang goes any chance of a decent (or sometimes any) mobile broadband signal. Tried almost every network too.
...but it's not due to all that concrete and steel. And in fact 1/5th of Milton Keynes is open access parkland so it's not the concrete jungle the urban myth makes out (that is if you decide to step out of the car, and look at the place beyond CMK.)
There are two reasons:
1. MK sits in a number of shallow but there none-the-less valleys, this doesn't help mobile signals on some networks but I have never had an issue (TMobile and Orange)
2. Most of the new town was laid out with aluminium telephone cabling, not copper because it was cheaper. And aluminium is terrible.
In theory both of these problems can be overcome.
That said, it's a pretty inexcusable situation.