4 million still use 2G phones as 4G prepares to launch in UK

New stats suggest 4 million Brits are still making do with feeble 2G phones. Confused? Join the club.

It's fair to say our appetite for exciting new technology is insatiable here at CNET UK, but occasionally we get so far ahead of ourselves we forget what's going on in the here and now.

Take 4G , for example -- we've had our eyes firmly fixated on this spot on the tech horizon for so long now, we never for a moment stopped to take a look around us. Sure, the pace of Britain's voyage towards faster data speeds has been more Swallows and Amazons than Master and Commander , but I had no idea we were still floundering in 2G-infested waters.

New data revealed today though, suggests 4 million Brits out there haven't even made the jump to 3G yet, and are still faffing about with feeble 2G phones. The baffling stats -- which were kindly tallied up, cross-calculated and otherwise mathematised by Carphone Warehouse partner Geek Squad -- leave me asking one question: why?

3G has been around in the UK for a while now, and on the whole it's meant a marvellous improvement in the quality of our phones and the experience we have using them -- even if the consistency of network coverage and data speeds has been far from perfect. Only this week it was announced that mobile data is four times zippier on average in New York than in London , although hopefully our long, drawn-out buffering days will soon be behind us.

After much squabbling between networks , Ofcom delays and government negotiations , 4G is finally due to launch in the UK on 30 October -- that's two weeks today, folks! -- under the EE network banner.

EE is a collaborative company formed by Orange and T-Mobile, which has niftily nabbed a slice of the 4G spectrum, and will support a range of exciting smart phones, including the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and HTC One XL.

Check out our data speed test video below to see the new phones perform in all their 4G glory.


Vodafone and O2, inevitably furious over the success of this team effort, have strapped themselves together and are due to reach the finish line of this awkward three-legged race by launching their own 4G networks sometime in the spring next year .

How important are data speeds to you? Are you prepping yourself to sprint into the new 4G era later this month, or are you still dawdling along with 2G? Peg it down to the comments below or linger a while on our Facebook page and let us know.

About the author

    Katie Collins is a Production Assistant on CNET UK where she is charged with keeping the site shipshape and in good working order. She is also the nightwatchwoman for CNET.com's home page, guarding it with her life while America sleeps.


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