The first large-scale test of EE’s new 4G network has revealed that less than half of Manchester city centre is able to take advantage of its speeds. Data collected by mobile coverage firm RootMetrics reveals just 40.2% of its test locations had access to the 4G network. This is revealed a month after the technology was implemented in 11 UK cities on 30th October.

In test locations that had access to 4G, users were getting speeds averaging 17Mbps, according to the survey. Across all test locations, including those where 4G was unavailable, EE averaged download speeds of 7.6Mbps. This is still double the average speed of the next fastest operator in the area – Vodafone – which recorded average download speeds of 3.1Mbps in previous tests.

The survey also found:

  • 31% of tests were achieving speeds of more than 10Mbps
  • 9% achieved speeds of 6-10Mbps
  • 18% speeds of 3-6Mbps
  • 23% speeds of 1.5-3Mbps
  • 19% achieving speeds of less than 1.5Mbps

In previous tests by RootMetrics, 46% of all the tests for other mobile operators performed at these low speeds.

This low coverage mirrors rollouts in the US, where deployments typically launched with 30% to 60% coverage, said RootMetric’s chief executive Bill Moore.

An official statement from the mobile firm read: “RootMetrics has measured an area they choose to name ‘urbanised Manchester’ that is considerably larger than Manchester city centre, which we have regarded as our 4G launch zone. In Manchester city itself, roughly inside the M60, we estimate our 4G coverage is currently in excess of 80% and increasing on a daily basis as we turn on more sites.”

EE has currently launched 4G in 11 UK cities, and plan to increase this to 16 by the end of the year.



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