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London Remains Well Down In Urban 4G Mobile Rankings

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Best and worst cities for 4G mobile coverage revealed in new study, as London continues to lag

London has been ranked in sixteen place out of 20 major cities and towns in the United Kingdom for its 4G mobile coverage – a week after a separate report found the capital lagged behind other metropolitan areas in the UK.

A new study carried out by OpenSignal and consumer campaign group Which?  found that the best place to live in the UK if your life is dominated by mobile is in the heart of the midlands, namely Stoke-On-Trent, as it has the fastest 4G speeds of any big city in Great Britain.

4G © Shkanov Alexey Shutterstock 2012Speed Rankings

The OpenSignal and Which? study looked at how the top 20 urban areas in Great Britain fared in 4G speed and 4G availability between December and 28 February.

The only major city to get into the top five ranking for 4G speeds was Liverpool, behind Stoke-On-Trent, Coventry, and then Leicester. Birmingham was in sixth place, Mancester was in seventh, and London was all the way down in sixteenth.

The worst 4G speeds are apparently in Brighton and Hove.

According to the study, Stoke-On-Trent averaged LTE download speeds of 26.4 Mbps, nearly 2 Mbps faster than the next fastest city Coventry and 3.5 Mbps faster than the average 4G download speed for all of Great Britain.

Only half of the 20 cities examined enjoyed speeds above the national speed average of 22.9 Mbps.

London for example failed to meet the national average with average LTE connections of 20.5 Mbps.

Coverage Rankings

There was equally bad news for Londoners in terms of 4G coverage, with the capital still ranked in sixteenth place, well behind the leader Middlesbrough, with smartphone users there able to connect on a LTE connection 82.7 percent of the time.

This is impressive considering that the average 4G availability across England, Scotland and Wales is just 65.1 percent.

The worst city for 4G coverage is Bournemouth, with an LTE availability score of 67.5 percent, and the study found that 4G signals are far more consistently available in the cities than in the countryside.

The OpenSignal and Which? report differs from a similar report last month from RootMetrics, which found that Belfast has the best mobile service of any major UK metropolitan area. Belfast does not seem to be covered in the OpenSignal report.

That RootMetrics study also found that London was only ranked in thirteenth place out of sixteen.

Quiz: Are you up to speed on 4G?