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3 Mobile claims to offer up to 4Mbps mobile broadband speeds

Thursday, January 5th 2012
Speeds of between 1Mbps and 4Mbps are offered by the 3 Mobile network.
3 Mobile claims to offer up to 4Mbps mobile broadband speeds
Network operator 3 Mobile has claimed its mobile broadband customers can expect to receive speeds of up to 4Mbps.

Phil Sheppard, the carrier's director of network strategy, acknowledged that prospective subscribers are typically eager to find out the connection speeds they are likely to enjoy if they sign up with 3 Mobile.

He claimed download and upload capabilities are one of the most important considerations for people in the market for a new mobile broadband deal, along with value and reliability.

Although Mr Sheppard insisted the issue of speed is not a simple one to explain, he said subscribers generally get capabilities of between 1Mbps and 4Mbps.

In most parts of the country, 3 Mobile has rolled out 21Mbps technology that supports maximum theoretical rates of 16Mbps, but once obstacles such as buildings, trees and network traffic are taken into account, the real-world speed is substantially lower.

The 3 Mobile chief declared there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all answer to the speed question, as capabilities will always depend on the conditions in any specific area.

However, he added: "As we constantly invest in improvements and ready ourselves for the planned spectrum auction later this year, we're confident that our customers will get a faster internet experience more often and in more places."

Mr Sheppard's comments paint a more positive picture of mobile broadband speeds in the UK than research published last year by Ofcom, the national telecoms regulator.

Tests conducted by the watchdog in partnership with broadband monitoring specialist Epitiro between September and December 2010 found the average rate available to customers was 1.5Mbps, while the typical webpage took 8.5 seconds to download.

In contrast, the national average fixed broadband speed stood at 6.2Mbps in November and December of the same year.

"The research is another important step in Ofcom's efforts to ensure that consumers have the information they need to exercise their choice effectively," commented Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards.

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