Consumer group Which? and analyst Open Signal measured data from mobile phones across twenty cities in the UK. They say that critical reforms are needed to perform a better service for customers. The Open Signal study analysed more than 500m data readings from mobile phones taken from more than 30,000 users between 1st December 2016 and 28th February 2017 via an app. It ranked 20 of the biggest towns and cities from top to bottom based on their 4G availability.

The Top 5 were –

  • Middlesborough/Teeside – 82.7%
  • Sheffield – 79.3%
  • Sunderland – 79%
  • Leicester – 78.6%
  • Leeds/West Yorkshire – 78.2%

The Bottom 5 were –

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

The report also looked at average 4G download speeds across the UK, finding Stoke-on-Trent to be the fastest city and Brighton the slowest. Which? said that big cities often suffer with below par mobile networks because it is more difficult to build towers and masts in built-up urban areas.

Ofcom said its rules meant that nearly all UK premises would have to receive a 4G signal by the end of the year. Ofcom has stated that mobile coverage must improve and that it understood the importance of having a reliable mobile broadband where people live and work. (3rd May 2017)