UK 5G download speeds accelerate in Q2

A new report has highlighted a “noticeable” increase in median download speeds and access to 5G networks across the UK following two years of “stagnant speeds”.

Ookla’s Q2 2021 Speedtest Intelligence report revealed that across the four leading mobile networks - EE, 02, Three and Vodafone - median download speeds reached an average of 167.38Mbps over the second three months of the year.

According to the report's authors, operators have increasingly expanded 5G deployments during the period while there was also “an acceleration in moves by the government and network operators to drive further improvements in network coverage and performance”.

The UK’s median download speeds now match up positively among major nations, ahead of Japan at 163.68Mbps, Germany at 142.21Mbps and well ahead of the United States at 81.04Mbps. The only two major nations ahead of the UK’s operators are China (302.78Mbps) and global leader South Korea (440.53Mbps).

By contrast, the UK’s average upload speed of 15.91Mbps was lower than all major nations except France. However, the report’s authors explained that “the reason why uploads are only a little better than those of existing 4G services above is because most of the current 5G deployments still make some use of some 4G connectivity and spectrum, which won’t change until Standalone (SA) 5G is more widely deployed”.

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