EE's 4G service is only available to 40% of Manchester, according to new research.
Network coverage analysts RootMetrics said the service was only available in urbanised Manchester and averaged download speeds of 17.0MBps. The researchers said the roll out of 4G had not 'statistically significant' effect on call success or failure rates. Across its entire network, spanning 3G and 4G, download speeds were 9.7MBps indoor and 8.6MBps outdoor.
Bill Moore, CEO and president of RootMetrics, said: 'Although EE’s 4G service is much faster than any network currently available in the UK, our testing shows that 4G connections are not yet widely available even within a particular area. This is not unusual as our experience in the US has shown that operators historically launch 4G networks with anywhere between 30% to 60% availability and then build out from there.
'However, customers need to be aware of this as there will be an expectation of blisteringly fast mobile internet speeds whenever they use their phones. Currently the urbanised Manchester level is just over 40% 4G availability yet venture too far outside this zone and you’re back to 3G or worse.'
An EE spokesman said RootMetrics had measured an area 'considerably larger' than Manchester city centre, which is where it has launched the 4G service. He said: 'In Manchester city itself, roughly inside the M60, we estimate our 4G coverage is currently in excess of 80% and increasing on a daily basis as we turn on more sites.
'The area covered by 'urbanised Manchester' in the RootMetrics report includes parts of Salford, Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, Tameside, Stockport and Trafford. Of those boroughs, only parts of Salford are due to be covered by 4G at this early stage of rollout, and we have delivered this coverage.'
Editor: Graeme Neill