Which? rank the best and worst UK cities for 4G coverage

By Chris Dawson May 3, 2017 - 1:38 pm

Which? and OpenSignal analysed over 500m data readings, taken from over 30,000 users of the OpenSignal app to discover which areas of the country have the best 4G mobile signals and found that you’re unlikely to get a decent mobile broadband signal at least a third of the time.

Mobile phone customers in the north east of England have the best chance of getting a 4G mobile phone signal

Users in Middlesbrough were able to access a 4G signal 82.7% of the time coming first in the rankings of 4G availability across 20 of the biggest cities in the UK. It’s not all good news though, the average 4G speed that they receive – 20.8Mbps – is one of the slowest that tracked in the city-level analysis.

Sheffield came second with residents able to access 4G 79.3% of the time, and Sunderland was third. Surprisingly, London only came 16th while phone users in Bournemouth had the least chance of getting a 4G phone signal of the 20 cities we analysed, only able to access the faster speeds it offers 67.5% of the time.

However, residents of all 20 cities enjoy a better 4G experience than the UK population as a whole. Poorer coverage in more rural areas means that the average UK phone user can only access 4G 65.1% of the time.

Can you rely on 4G where you live and work? In my house it’s spotty and I lose the signal in the middle of the house. I know I have WiFI, but surely these days 4G should be everywhere, if not in the middle of the countryside then at least indoors in every major town and city in the UK.

Broadband availability and signal strength in 20 UK Cities
Ranking for 4G Availability
Ranking for 4G Speed
Average 4G availability
Average 4G speed
1 Middlesbrough 82.7% 1 Stoke-on-Trent 26.6Mbps
2 Sheffield 79.3% 2 Coventry 24.8Mbps
3 Sunderland 79% 3 Leicester 24.4Mbps
4 Leicester 78.6% 4 Liverpool 24.4Mbps
5 Leeds 78.2% 5 Nottingham 24.2Mbps
6 Liverpool 78.1% 6 Birmingham 24.1Mbps
7 Newcastle 77.9% 7 Manchester 23.4Mbps
8 Birmingham 77.5% 8 Bournemouth 23.1Mbps
9 Glasgow 77.5% 9 Sunderland 22.8Mbps
10 Edinburgh 77% 10 Southampton 22.6Mbps
11 Bristol 75.9% 11 Newcastle 22.5Mbps
12 Manchester 75.3% 12 Leeds 22.5Mbps
13 Brighton 75.2% 13 Glasgow 21.9Mbps
14 Coventry 74.8% 14 Sheffield 21.3Mbps
15 Stoke-on-Trent 74.3% 15 Middlesbrough 20.8Mbps
16 London 73.6% 16 London 20.5Mbps
17 Nottingham 73.3% 17 Edinburgh 20.4Mbps
18 Cardiff 71.8% 18 Bristol 18.8Mbps
19 Southampton 69.6% 19 Cardiff 17.7Mbps
20 Bournemouth 67.5% 20 Brighton 17.6Mbps


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