Ofcom conducted research in five UK cities where 4G was offered by network operators EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.
It measured download speed, upload speed, web browsing speed and latency. Over nine million people in the country can now access 4G and Ofcom said this figure will increase as coverage increases and additional 4G enabled devices come onto the market.
Ofcom conducted 210,000 tests in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. It pointed out that with only nine million 4G subscribers, “networks may be lightly loaded” and increased network congestion may dampen down the performance.
The tests showed that 4G download speeds were over twice as fast as 3G speeds, with an average for 4G being 15.1Mbit/s but for 3G only 6.1Mbit/s.
Upload speeds were even better, with 4G seven times faster that 3G. Although there was less difference between browsing web pages, 4G networks have a lower latency than 3G networks.
Ofcom said that EE had higher download and upload speeds, while Three was better at web browising and latency.