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Which city in the UK has the best 4G coverage? The results are in

An independent report which measured data from thousands of mobile phones has revealed the places in the UK with the best and worst 4G coverage.

Topping the list for best coverage is Middlesborough, followed by Sheffield and Sunderland, while at the bottom of the list sits Bournemouth.

The report from Which? and analyst OpenSignal looked at data from phones across 20 cities in the UK between December 1, 2016 and February 28.

Related: What is 5G?

The project involved using 500 million data readings from more than 30,000 users’ phones, using an app to provide the information.

Once the data was in, the companies behind the project ranked 20 large cities from top to bottom based on their 4G coverage.

Here’s the top five cities in the UK for 4G availability:

Middlesbrough/Teesside – 82.7%
Sheffield – 79.3%
Sunderland – 79%
Leicester – 78.6%
Leeds/West Yorkshire – 78.2%

And the bottom five:

Bournemouth/Poole – 67.5%
Southampton/Portsmouth – 69.6%
Cardiff – 71.8%
Nottingham – 73.3%
London – 73.6%

The report also included a list that looked at 4G download speeds in the UK, with Stoke-on-Trent sitting at the top of that list and Brighton taking the bottom spot.


Overall, according to data published in November from OpenSignal, the findings put the UK 54th in the world for 4G availability.

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has said that “virtually all” UK premises should be able to access a 4G signal by the end of 2017, but these latest findings don’t bode well for that goal to be realised.

Which? and OpenSignal say “critical” reforms are required to improve 4G coverage in the UK, and are calling on the government to take notice and implement changes.

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We agree that mobile coverage must improve and understand the importance of having reliable mobile broadband, wherever people live and work.

“Ofcom rules mean that virtually all UK premises must receive a 4G signal by the end of this year.

“We’re also making available valuable new airwaves to boost mobile broadband, and have challenged mobile operators to explore how to reach all remote areas and transport lines.”

Here’s the full list of 4G coverage in major UK cities according to the new report:

1. Middlebrough/Teesside
2. Sheffield
3. Sunderland
4. Leicester
5. Leeds/West Yorkshire
6. Liverpool
7. Newcastle/Tyneside
8. Birmingham/West Midlands
9. Glasgow
10. Edinburgh
11. Bristol
12. Manchester
13. Brighton and Hove
14. Coventry
15. Stoke-on-Trent
16. London
17. Nottingham
18. Cardiff
19. Southampton/Portsmouth
20. Bournemouth/Poole

Here’s the list of fastest 4G networks in major UK cities:

1. Stoke-on-Trent
2. Coventry
3. Leicester
4. Liverpool
5. Nottingham
6. Birmingham/West Midlands
7. Manchester
8. Bournemouth/Poole
9. Sunderland
10. Southampton/Portsmouth
11. Newcastle/Tyneside
12. Leeds/West Yorkshire
13. Glasgow
14. Sheffield
15. Middlebrough/Teesside
16. London
17. Edinburgh
18. Bristol
19. Cardiff
20. Brighton and Hove

Let us know what you make of the findings in the comments.

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