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Ofcom partner with Epitiro to test mobile broadband speeds
Monday 13 September 2010 11:27:43 by John Hunt

Ofcom have announced today that it has partnered with Epitiro to measure throughput speeds on mobile broadband networks. The company will set up testing to evaluate the performance of mobile broadband on the five main network in the UK 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

Epitiro carried out research in the first half of 2009 and found that the average download speed of mobile broadband users in the UK was under 1Mbps, only around 25% of the average advertised download speeds. For this analysis which will be run for Ofcom, Epitiro will set up over 1,000 devices around the UK and Northern Ireland which will be used to test both the availability of mobile broadband and the available speeds. The testing will emulate consumer experience and testing will take place at different times of the day which should help identify some of the problems which can cause slow downs on mobile broadband. These include low signal strength, contention at the cell site from too many users, insufficient backhaul capacity, as well as cell handoff and traffic management issues.

The testing will take place between September 2010 and January 2011 with a report to be published by Ofcom expected in early 2011.

Comments

Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
I already know the answer. "Performance worse than fixed line. Horribly mis-sold on mythical headline speed by ignoring mast contention and environmental factors.".

There. That didn't take four months and a wodge of tax payer money did it?
Posted by TonyHoyle over 6 years ago
One test I do is to run spotify in low quality mode then drive around the city (64k/s or thereabouts). *all* providers fail that test eventually (voda held out for a while, though).

OTOH the best I've had was 6Mbps from 'three' when sat in the office during the day.

'course that's very localised (Manchester). In other cities the situation will be completely different - and in the country (few users competing for the bandwidth) I bet you can get faster.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
many areas round here with no mobile signal from any provider. In areas where there is a signal it is very poor, just because we are in the countryside doesn't make it faster, there are probably more users on fewer masts so the competition for bandwidth is fiercer. It didn't use to be as bad but it is getting worse since people got iphones and such. I think everyone knows this, but ofcom needs reports. And we are paying them to tell us what we know. I hope Eptitiro put some testers in cumbria and not just in urban areas then we get some accuracy.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Oh joy more selective testing from Epitiro. Do they ever test anything other than the main players?
@AndrueC couldnt agree more.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
Nothing will change until at least summer 2011 when the spectrum for LTE is auctioned off.

Unlimited WiMax is available in the US and they have a network just about as congested as ours so HSPA style usage limits should be a thing of the past.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Shame Ofcom don't combine this with an update of the coverage maps - the last time I looked, average speeds according to Ofcom were just over 1Mbps, coverage was pretty limited in East Anglia, the South West, North Wales, the North East, the Highlands....

In other wods, not exactly national coverage, fairly low speeds for most. Perhaps they could look at wi-fi coverage too, as this does help free up 3G capacity from smart phones etc.
Posted by dsl_angel over 6 years ago
The trouble with this is the CP's currently "Tweak" their Epitiro lines to get them as good as they can, this isn't truly representative!
One CP who frequently tops the Epitiro charts, has being at the top of the Epitiro rankings as one of its company key objectives and will do almost anything to "boost" these lines (at the cost of their other Paying customer lines!!!).
So Ofcom could also be open to the same kind of abuse here also or at best, skewed and untrue results!
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
my O2 dongle speedtests between 2mbit and a couple of hundred kbit usually.
Posted by veryslowlyslowly over 6 years ago
My mail via 03 in the DH2 postal area from 'thinkbroadband', at times takes 6 to 7 days to reach me. I suffer slow speeds and constant drop outs. On good days I peak at 1.3Gb/s down speed..
A quirk of my connection is that it most always daily drops out at 23.57, in preparation of the bewitching hour ??

A runner bearing my mail in a cleft stick would be faster :(
Posted by jenkinofewelme over 6 years ago
In our rural village (OX10 6Lx,), there are only around 100 lines capable of using ADSL due to distance from exchange, with best around 1Mbs and most at 0.5Mbs. Using '3' Mobile BB we get max 5.5Mbs with ave around 2Mbs, poss slower in eve. Seems pretty good to those who care to investigate via www.ewelme.info, as no chance of cable for many moons!
Posted by fred_anon2000 over 6 years ago
With me it isn't so much the maximum speed, but the variation in that speed. Sometimes i get 6mb, which is excellent. On the same day though, i can go as low as 500kps
Posted by jenkinofewelme over 6 years ago
Quite so, but when you've been used to 480 kbs ADSL for some years (i've now got rid of mine), and a significant number in the village are still on dial-up, whom I'm trying to convince to convert rather than waiting for FTTC, the max/min range is perfectly acceptable, and to the unknowing, not really even noticeable.
Posted by alanfenwick45 over 6 years ago
i have been helping t-mobile with meter readings for there network in co. durham the maximum down load speed on my dongle & android phone was 600mbps they said that when they merged with orange it would increase to 2 meg...orange has since informed me this is untrue there merger would make no difference at all...somebody needs to step in and help the general public get what they pay for
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