The need for greater 4G coverage in the UK has become a daily struggle, with the leading mobile operators constantly trying to keep up with the demands of customers. Well, thanks to research carried out by wireless-coverage mapping organisation OpenSignal, the country’s ‘hotspots’ and ‘notspots’ have been revealed. So, how does your area fare?
With the population of London rising twice as fast as that of the rest of the UK and the mobile technology market booming, more and more people are accessing the web in the nation’s capital than ever before. It is perhaps surprising then that the Big Smoke ranked just 16th out of the 20 urban areas included in the study. In fact, the country’s biggest city scored just 73.6 percent for 4G availability, just ahead of the likes of Nottingham and Cardiff.
The research, carried out for product reviewing service Which?, found that the best 4G coverage could be obtained a lot of further north, with Leeds and Leicester performing well. However, it was the northeast that stole the show, with Middlesbrough occupying the coveted top spot on the accessibility podium with 82.7 percent. But spare a thought for those on the south coast, with Southampton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, and Poole all failing to top the 70 percent mark.
4G Download Speeds
The study also examined download speeds as part of its investigation, finding that Stoke-on-Trent topped the list ahead of Coventry and Liverpool. The south coast suffered once again though, as Brighton and Hove were found to have the slowest speeds from the areas surveyed, while London once again came in 16th.
The report comes just months after it was revealed that the UK’s 4G coverage ranked 54th in the world, behind nations such as Romania and Peru, and well adrift of the service offered in the US and Japan. The research also showed that the availability of 4G from all four of Britain’s big four mobile operators – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – was only accessible in 40 percent of the country.
Since these findings were published, there have been increasing calls for Ofcom to scrutinise mobile operators in an effort to deliver a better 4G service for all. “Our mobile phone is central to how we live our lives and that is why it is so frustrating when we can’t access emails or browse the internet on the go,” Alex Neill of Which? told The Guardian. It is also hoped that the Advertising Standards Authority, which received over 150 complaints last year about an array of adverts claiming to deliver faster broadband speeds, will follow suit and put pressure on companies to up their game.
However, the increase in the number of customers able to receive 4G coverage has increased dramatically in the last two years. This comes ahead of the proposed introduction of 5G, an area in which chancellor Philip Hammond believes the UK could become a “world leader” should enough focus be given to the concept, which will be able to power delivery drones, driverless cars, and smart home appliances. But until that day comes, you’ll just have to pray that you have enough 4G coverage to update Twitter and watch the latest viral videos on the go.