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November 25, 2009

Mobile broadband speeds still way below expectations

Most connections are under 1Mbps

By Steve Evans

Mobile broadband speeds are falling way below advertised top speeds, according to new research.

Broadband Genie tested over 3,600 mobile connections throughout 2009 and found that the average user experience was just 0.87Mbps – only 24% of the top-end speed offered by mobile firms. The company says that the likes of 3, O2, T-Mobile and Orange offer broadband connections at ‘up to’ 3.6Mbps.

The majority of speed tests (65%) came in at under 1Mb and 39% of those were recorded at under 0.5Mbps. Just over a quarter (26%) registered speeds between 1Mbps and 2Mbps and less than 7% claimed speeds between 2Mbps and 3Mbps. Just 0.5% managed over 3Mbps.

“Once again it would seem the mad rush to secure the early adopters has exceeded the ability of the product to live up to over-hyped expectations. It’s a real shame too, as mobile broadband can be perfect for a lot of uses, even at speeds below 1Mbps,” said Broadband Genie editor Chris Marling.

This failure to meet the expectations of users could result in a slow down in mobile broadband speeds, Marling added.

“Mobile broadband has proved invaluable to many users. Students, business travellers, holidaymakers and people who struggle to get a fixed-line connection have really benefited, along with many others, but we are inundated with complaints from customers who feel they have been lied to, once again, by the mobile industry,” he said. “These sales techniques, as well as the quality of customer service and tech support, really have to change.”

Broadband Genie is an independent broadband comparison website launched in 2004. Mobile Broadband Genie was launched in October 2007.

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