Mobile broadband running at a quarter of advertised speeds

24 September 2009

Bitterwallet - 3 broadband dongleThere's clearly a different dictionary used by the telecoms industry to the rest of the population when it comes to how their services are marketed. Headlines with asterisks, bold claims with shy caveats - nothing is seemingly ever what it appears to be. And now a new and reasonably robust survey has found that mobile broadband is a bit of a sham, too.

According to www.broadband-expert.co.uk, UK mobile broadband providers are delivering average download speeds that are just 24 per cent of those advertised. The site tested over 3,300 mobile broadband connections during the six months to the end of August, and found that the average download speed was 1.1Mbps - that's compared to the average advertised maximum speed of 4.5Mbps.

Whilst Vodafone recorded the fastest actual speed with an average of 1.3Mbps, it also delivered the lowest percentage of its advertised speeds at just 18 per cent of the stated 7.2Mbps. T-Mobile was the slowest at 0.9Mbps or 20 per cent of the advertised speed. 3 achieved the highest percentage of advertised speeds at 1.2Mbps - a third of the advertised 3.6Mbps maximum speed.

Nobody will be surprised, apologists will stand up for this nonsense, mobile providers will claim the survey is deeply flawed in some way that just so happens to exonerate them, nothing whatsoever will change for the consumer. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

[Broadband Expert] thanks to HUKD member Birdyboyuk

TOPICS:   Broadband

9 comments

  • cookie
    "Nobody will be surprised, apologists will stand up for this nonsense, mobile providers will claim the survey is deeply flawed in some way that just so happens to exonerate them, nothing whatsoever will change for the consumer" And therein lies the problem. This, like so much of the intentionally misleading advertising for telecoms services, is really not good enough and amounts to the consumer being truly shafted. I would LOVE to see an advertising campaign where the truthful facts about the service were in big bold letters, not small print. Oh what a different picture would then be painted.,.
  • Junkyard
    Are other people's mobile broadband experiences really so different to mine? I honestly couldn't care what download speed I get, I'm just incredibly relieved on the rare occasion I can actually get a connection.
  • slowisp
    Internet providers in general should be required to advertise average speeds, and not best effort speeds. Any provider found to be in gross violation of their advertised speeds should have their ability to sell revoked.
  • Tom
    When cars are sold, they have to list the fuel consumption rates. Urban, Extra Urban etc. Why not do the same with mobile data. Peak Average However the average would have to be explicitly calculated. None of this 99% coverage (of the population) ... since the majority of the population live in the cities, and doesn't actually mean 99% of the UK covered.
  • Matt
    I've never once seen a car review where they have managed to get near to the manufacturers claimed mpg figures, so i doubt this would be any better really.
  • slowisp
    It would be if legislators would hold the companies financially responsible for meeting their claims in advertising!
  • Elsie
    After a nightmare with tmobile I'm currently with orange for mobile broadband. it's costing a little more but the speed is a consistent 2meg so much better than the very intermittent and slow 300k from tmobile.
  • Chris
    Those are some sad percentages. Agree the companies should advertise the Mbps you can expect, not the maximum that the network is capable of supplying. I'm in the US, but we have to deal with the same wishy-washy claims here, too.
  • Simon
    I have a "3" PAYG MBB dongle and have had no problems at all. At home I am restricted to 2MB (max) on BT and I have to say that the 3 dongle is sometimes quicker than normal broadband.. It even worked in the remote areas of Northumbria last week... Well impressed.

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