Early 4G Tests Reveal Patchy Coverage


Recent research by network coverage analyst firm RootMetrics suggests that early 4G coverage is still patchy in many areas, with less than half of test locations having access to 4G services.

EEThe tests were carried out in Manchester, on behalf of the BBC, and results showed that within the City Centre just 40.2% of tests gave access to the EE4G network.

Results were even worse outside the City Centre, as no 4G connections were achieved.

Where 4G connections were gained, RootMetrics measured an average download speed of 17Mbps, which compares with figures from EE who claim that their 4G network can give average speeds of up to 40Mbps. Tests across all locations, including where 4G failed, average download speeds measured out at 7.6Mbps. This is still double the average speed of the next fastest operator, Vodafone, whose network gave an average download speed of 3.1Mbps.

“Although EE's 4G network is much faster than any network currently available in the UK, our testing shows that 4G connections are not consistent even within a nominated area,” said RootMetric's Chief Executive, Bill Moore. “Customers need to be aware of this as there will be an expectation of blistering fast mobile internet speeds whenever they use their phones.”

One interesting find from the survey was that data speeds were much faster when measured indoors, which goes against claims made by network rivals that the 4G frequency used by EE wouldn't be as effective when used inside buildings. All tests for RootMetrics were carried out using a retail unit Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, and the firm are set to test coverage in other cities around the UK in the coming weeks and months.

EE officially launched their 4G service in the UK on the 30th October, initially offering service in 11 cities, including Manchester. The service is scheduled to cover 16 cities before the end of this year, before being rolled out to other areas across the country in 2013.