back to article 4G is quicker than 3G, says Ofcom. Can't we get you on Mastermind, Sybil?

Mobile broadband speeds in Blighty are pretty good, according to a new report from Ofcom, although concerns remain over the methodology used. The average mobile broadband download speed on 4G (15.1Mbps) was more than twice as fast as 3G (6.1Mbps) across all the networks. Predictably, EE’s lead in launching 4G showed EE and O2 …

  1. Keef

    New phone leads to some testing...

    "Ultimately, there is only one thing the Ofcom report can be sure of: 4G is faster than 3G. Who'd have thunk it?"

    Not with my Nexus 5 phone on O2 in west London.

    Speedtests on 3G were faster than 4G/LTE on several tests spread over several days.

    And my battery drain is higher for the slower download speeds I experience on LTE.

    My phone is set to 3G and is staying there for the foreseeable future.

  2. Tim Almond

    4G vs Wifi

    It's seemed to me that anywhere you can get 4G, you can also get wifi for the price of an espresso. Not as fast as these speeds, but how often do you need 22mbps? How often you going to be in the middle of a city without an office and suddenly want to download Photoshop?

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    And there are the...

    Tesco Mobile ads for a whopping 512Mb of 4G Data.

    Sigh. Ofcom, are you listening?

    Nah thought not, you probably all do your shopping there...

  4. St3n

    I'll stick with 3G...

    The dual channel 3G connection I get here is a lot faster than an average DSL link, so I don't see any point in upgrading to expensive bills/connection caps...

  5. Cuddles Silver badge

    4G is faster than 3G

    ...just. Considering it's supposed to be an entirely new generation of amazingness, the fact that it barely manages to be twice as fast 3G over two years after its introduction really isn't something to be impressed by. Maybe it will be worth it given another few years, but at the moment I keep 4G disabled on my phone even though I'm with 3 and don't have to pay for it because it's simply not worth the hit to the battery, let alone the cost in actual money if your with a network that charges extra for it.

    Speaking of 3, it's somewhat interesting that these results give 3 the worst download speeds, but by far the best loading times in actual use. It's almost as though the benchmarking doesn't actually give particularly useful results. Don't mistake me for a 3 fanboy though, I'm pretty sure the reason their coverage wasn't reported was simply that it was too shit to measure properly.

    1. Vince

      Re: 4G is faster than 3G

      Nope, sorry.

      As a three customer the coverage is excellent, perhaps you're still comparing based on a few years ago... speeds might not always be absolutely fastest but they give you the best allowances by far so you can use the network and smartphones etc freely unlike the rest.

  6. Rabbit80

    I hate to disagree..

    ... but I think it may be you that is wrong here Simon.

    "Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "It can't be right that in a fifth of the UK, people cannot use their phones to make a call. The government isn't prepared to let that situation continue."

    Just to make it clear, Javid is wrong. He’s confused people with places. What’s missing is geographical coverage, not population coverage."

    Javids words are "in a fifth of the UK" meaning a fifth of the geographical area of the UK, not a fifth of the population.

  7. StimuliC

    Surely OfCom should not be blackslapping Telco's!

    They shouldn't be doing these figures and then saying "They are doing so well" they should be saying "4G? 15Mbps seems rather slow compared to other nations! They need to work harder!

    Not only that, to be upset because the PM couldn't receive a call in a remote location is wrong! If you are a person that needs to be able to be contacted then you don't knowingly go to a location where there is a chance of not receiving or making a call.

    Yet again, OfCom jump to the defense of an obviously privileged prick who, because he found that he was in a dead zone for mobile service who is now stomping his feet and throwing a tantrum. Surely it is up to a person to make sure that they are in a location where service is available. Maybe he should invest in sattelite phone or better still take less holidays or visits to remote locations.

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Not a given

    Indeed, it's not a given that 4G is faster than 3G. There are markets here in the US where a companies 4G LTE network has saturated to the point the 3G is definitely faster. Why they don't shift load back and forth, that I do not know. This is even true with the CDMA carriers -- where a channel of EVDO 3G maxes out at 3.1mbps... you can find some spots where 4G will get like 1mbps but the 3G get 1.5-2mbps.

    The reason the 4G is not too exciting right now? Amounts of spectrum deployed. LTE with 2x2 MIMO gets 37.5mbps peak in 5x5 (5mhz down, 5mhz up) versus HSPA+'s 21mbps. That's almost double the capacity. But, right now there is probably quite a bit more spectrum running HSPA+ than LTE.

    As the article mentions, current phones also don't support carrier aggregation; however, I think the improvements from carrier aggregation may be a bit overblown. Here in the US, you have areas where LTE is pretty saturated, and people thinking carrier aggregation will double their speeds. I think they won't. CA will double your peak speed (if you get 2 channels the same width as the 1 you get now). CA will increase speeds to a lesser extent on a realistic network. On a heavily loaded network, your device will be limited as to how many resources it can use whether it gets those resources from several LTE channels or all from one channel, and I don't really think CA will help at all.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021