Three 3G and 4G mobile internet speeds beat EE, O2 and Vodafone

ByAnthony Hill
Mobile internet

In speed tests carried out on each of the major networks it was Three that emerged victorious over its rivals with the best average speeds for both 3G and superfast 4G mobile internet…

If you fancy getting your hands on the fastest mobile internet around, then a 3G or 4G smartphone from Three is the way to go about it.

That's according to new independent speed tests conducted on a train ride from London to Edinburgh by technology website PC Advisor, which found Three's 3G and 4G is on average the fastest of all the major UK networks.

Three's average speeds were 4.48Mb on 3G and 6.19Mb on 4G, while EE came second with typical 3G speeds of 2.62Mb on and a 4G average of 3.99Mb.

Vodafone had the slowest speeds on average at 1.21Mb for 3G and 3.2Mb on 4G. O2's average speeds were 2.03Mb on 3G and 4.13Mb with 4G.

Mobile internet on a train

Three was also found to be the most reliable network, as a connection was able to be made in 90% of the tests carried out on the train. EE, the UK's biggest mobile network, was only able to complete 79% of the 39 tests conducted.

Each network provided PC Advisor with a 3G and 4G mobile broadband dongle, so while it may not have always been a like-for-like comparison, as one dongle may work better than another, overall it seems to have been a fair and balanced investigation.

But if you're thinking the speeds seem quite low, you're not wrong. In a recent 4G test conducted by RootMetrics, EE came out on top with impressive mobile internet speeds of 94.8Mb - over five times the UK average home broadband speed - in Birmingham.

The big difference here is that the tests were carried out in cities, where network coverage is much better than in the rural areas trains pass through. And it makes sense for networks to provide better coverage where there are more people.

Still, the test results highlight how important it is to check coverage not just where you live, but where you work and on your commute - which you can do using free checkers all the major networks have on their websites - before signing a lengthy contract.

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