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UK 4G coverage equal to India and Brazil



The UK's 4G LTE coverage is the same as a number of much larger and less developed countries, including India, Brazil, and Russia.

That's just one of the findings of OpenSignal's recent report on the current state of LTE around the world.

"In general we're seeing both speeds and 4G availability creeping up across the globe," reads the report. It also claims that we're seeing "awe-inspiring" data rates in "seemingly unlikely places like eastern Europe," while early adopters like the US are starting to fall behind.

On a local note, the report found that the UK currently provides 4G access to only 50 percent of its population. That places us in 53rd position out of the 68 4G-enabled nations polled, and sees us in the company of Brazil, India, Russia, and Greece.

Once again, South Korea leads the way on LTE availability with a staggering 97 percent of the population able to access 4G. Japan, Hong Kong, and Kuwait are next, while the US holds a respectable 10th position with 78 percent coverage.

When the figures are broken down into individual network providers, the UK's big four experience varying fortunes. The country's biggest network, EE, holds a respectable mid-table position in terms of 4G coverage, while O2 and Vodafone are close together but a fair way behind EE. Three, meanwhile, is one of the worst networks in the world for 4G coverage according to the report.

Things are a little more positive for the UK on the 4G speed front. The country is in 36th position out of 68 thanks to respectable average LTE download speeds of 13Mbps.

It's the US that appears to be suffering here, with average 4G network speeds of 10Mbps placing it down in 55th position. The leader, somewhat surprisingly, is New Zealand with 36Mbps.

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OpenSignal collects its data from "hundreds of thousands of OpenSignal users that have LTE-capable phones and connect to operators with live 4G networks."

This latest report was compiled from such data across three months of the year, spanning from June to August.

Find out how three 4G smartphone titans go in our smartphone grouptest video:


September 24, 2015, 12:02 pm

Hands up if you are surprised.


September 24, 2015, 1:02 pm

I'm not, having spent a long time in Japan where I could get a 4G signal anywhere including underground and on top of mountains, to Singapore, where my signal was rock steady and could go 2 days without charging my phone, then back to the UK, where my phone barely lasts a day, can't get a signal indoors and randomly drops out when people try to call me.


September 24, 2015, 5:02 pm

"Three, meanwhile, is one of the worst networks in the world for 4G coverage according to the report." Yeah, as a Three customer I can believe that. They should change their name from Three to Third, with "world" as a sub-line under their logo.


September 24, 2015, 6:34 pm

I've said elsewhere in another comment, I disable 4G on my Three supplied device because their H+ is three times as fast (at my home), where I do make most use of Internet, such as posting this contribution.

I laugh out of my rear when I see ads from providers stating "No extra for 4g" or "Our 4g comes as standard".
Most of the public are unaware that there are considerable differences regarding the standard of service between the operators.
I usually about get 90mbs down on my EE sim compared with 4-5 mbs on 4g from Three.

Oscar Garcia

September 24, 2015, 9:21 pm

I moved from O2 because I had no coverage at home. Now in BT mobile I have 4G at home and no network at work. FUUUU

Dead Words

September 25, 2015, 2:00 am

Time to move to New Zealand? Or South Korea? To be perfectly honest New Zealand sounds nice. Let's move there.

Alex Mason

September 25, 2015, 9:32 am

Not a surprise. Currently wondering if I can get out of my O2 contract on account of not getting anything I am paying for. I am sat not 10 miles from a large city and I haven't even got enough signal for a two-way phone call. 2G/3G/4G is but a distant dream for me. At home I do at least get enough signal for a phone call but still no data.

Spent time in Cornwall at the weekend....I didn't even take my phone out of the car. Basically useless. No signal. Travelling much of the M1 reveals poor signal as well.

Absolutely rubbish for a country so small.

Alex Mason

September 25, 2015, 9:35 am

Oh forgot about that point as well. Whilst attempting to hang on for dear life to the meager signal I receive at work (enough to stay connected to the network, but not enough to be actually useful for even a phone call), my phone absolutely decimates its battery whilst its throwing everything its got at the antenna. I often just switch to air plane mode to save it from itself, the level of service is the same.

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