CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Phones

EE has fastest UK 4G, Vodafone and O2 are similar, tests say

A study conducted in London suggests that EE's average download speeds are a little faster on average.

EE has the fastest 4G in the UK, tests suggest -- while O2 and Vodafone's speeds lag behind slightly, but are very similar to each other.

The data comes via mobile analyst firm RootMetrics, which says it conducted 11,000 tests across London, in the five days following the launch of O2 and Vodafone's new 4G networks.

The average speed achieved on EE's long-standing network was 22.7Mbps, the results say, compared with 16.3Mbps and 16.2Mbps for O2 and Vodafone respectively.

That was when devices being tested were allowed to roam onto both 3G and 4G. When devices were restricted to downloading data over just 4G, EE still came out on top with an average download speed of 29.6Mbps, compared to 23.3Mbps and 20.8Mbps for O2 and Vodafone.

The results suggest that the long run-up EE has enjoyed over its rivals has given it time to boost its service (In July EE increased its speeds across 10 cities), while other networks are still getting started with their own 4G offerings.

Coverage is also an issue for non-EE networks. While the Kevin Bacon-fronted EE is currently up-and-running in 100 UK towns, O2 and Vodafone are only offering 4G in a handful of cities, for now.

Of course, speed and coverage aren't the only factors -- there's also value, and that's somewhere that EE does stumble a bit, with its lower-priced tariffs offering measly data limits of 500MB per month.

My advice is to wait. By later in 2014, 4G will be running on many more cities on every network -- including on Three, which will be offering LTE speeds on existing contracts at no extra cost. 

If you're thinking of going 4G, be sure to read our comparison piece that compares what every network has to offer. What do you think of 4G? Is it a waste of time, or are you gagging for speedier mobile data? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.