4G coverage in Manchester 'patchy'

Following launch of UK's first 4G mobile network, tests find 'superfast' EE signal only covers 40% of the city.

4G mobile broadband may have finally arrived in the UK thanks to EE, but the initial coverage appears to be rather inconsistent.

Mobile research company RootMetrics conducted a series of tests around Manchester, one of 11 cities in which EE has launched the UK's first 4G mobile network. The results, shared exclusively with BBC News, reveal that 4G was available in just 40.2% of locations tested.

Outside the city centre, RootMetrics found no coverage at all - but where 4G was available, download speeds were much faster than current 3G options.

Across every test location, EE's 4G network averaged download speeds of 7.6Mb - double the average speed of Vodafone 3G, the fastest in the area.

However, despite overall speeds being better, it seems that the quality of EE 4G around Manchester varies greatly. Almost a third of RootMetrics's tests (31%) recorded speeds of more than 10Mb.

Speeds of 6Mb to10Mb were recorded in 9% or test spots, and 3Mb to 6Mb speeds in 18% of locations. Almost a quarter of tests (23%) reported speeds of between 1.5Mb and 3Mb.

Bill Moore, chief executive of RootMetrics, told the BBC: "Our testing shows that 4G connections are not consistent even within a nominated area.

"Customers need to be aware of this as there will be an expectation of blistering fast mobile internet speeds whenever they use their phones."

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