Average mobile broadband speed only 0.87Mbits/sec

Research has revealed the appalling low average speed of mobile broadband connections.

Average mobile broadband speed only 0.87Mbits/sec

More than 3,600 speed tests conducted by Broadband Genie revealed that the average speed is only 0.87Mbits/sec – a tiny fraction of the headline speeds advertised by the mobile networks. Although most state connection speeds of up to 3.6Mbits/sec, providers such as Vodafone claim to offer speeds of up to 7.2Mbits/sec, or even 14Mbits/sec in selected areas.

The vast majority of the speed tests (65%) were slower than 1Mbit/sec, with 39% recording speeds of below 0.5Mbits/sec. Only 16 out of the 3,6000 tests (or 0.5%) recorded a speed in excess of 3Mbits/sec.

The research underlines the growing problem with capacity on Britain’s mobile networks. Data traffic has spiked enormously with the advent of 3G mobile dongles and the proliferation of full web browsers on devices such as the iPhone, and mobile networks are struggling to meet demand.

“Mobile networks talk about next-generation networks, but there’s not ubiquitous service coverage today,” Graham Carey, director of business strategy at data optimisation firm, Bytemobile, told PC Pro.

“As you move from one [mobile] cell to another, you could move from one with capacity to one that hasn’t,” he said. “They are, in many instances, at the far end of their capacity.”

Research published last month suggested mobile networks could soon reach breaking point, with a 25-fold increase in data traffic predicted by 2012.

The volume of worldwide mobile data grew by 16% between October and September alone, according to figures released by mobile browser firm, Opera.

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