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It’s official: 4G is faster than 3G

Ofcom research finds 3G networks lagging.

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New Ofcom research undertaken in five of the UK’s biggest towns and cities found 4G networks delivering download speeds more than twice that of 3G.

4G was found to deliver an average download speed of 14.7 Mbps compared with 5.9 Mbps on 3G. Additionally, it took 0.72 seconds to load a web page compared with 1.04 seconds on 3G.

The report, compiled between October and December 2014, focused on London, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Poole/Bournemouth, where both 3G and 4G networks have been rolled out.

Ofcom collected 120,000 test samples on smartphones to assess the UK’s four main operators, EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. Providers were assessed on download speed, web browsing speed, upload speed and latency.

The report found EE delivering the fastest average 4G download speed in the areas tested, at 18.6Mbps. Vodafone followed with an average download speed of 16.4Mbps. O2 and Three provided speeds of 13.9Mbps and 8.5Mbps respectively.

Three, meanwhile, was the quickest network on average for web browsing over 4G, while EE delivered the fastest average upload speed.

Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s Consumer and Content Group Director, commented: "People are increasingly connected, communicating and sharing content on their mobiles when out and about.

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"4G is delivering a significantly enhanced mobile experience and, as these services roll out across the UK, our research will support consumers when choosing the right mobile package for their needs."

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