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Slowest 3G cities named and shamed

Milton Keynes gets the wooden spoon for the slowest 3G...
Written by Shelley Portet, Contributor

Milton Keynes gets the wooden spoon for the slowest 3G...

View silicon.com's map of the 10 slowest mobile broadband cities in the UK in a larger mapImage: silicon.com/Top10.com/Google Maps

Milton Keynes has the slowest mobile broadband speeds in the UK, according to research from Top10.com.

The comparison website analysed 3G speed tests carried out by smartphone users up and down the country and found that the average 3G speed in Milton Keynes was 1.73Mbps. That figure makes mobile broadband in Milton Keynes 45 per cent slower than the average speeds in Britain's 3G hotspot cities.

With mobile broadband speeds as low as that, it would take a smartphone user in Milton Keynes 10 seconds to load a web page and well over two minutes to download popular apps such as Angry Birds or silicon.com's newly updated iPhone app.

Leicester and Huddersfield also recorded low average mobile broadband speeds of 2.01Mbps and 2.17Mbps respectively.

Researchers who compiled the report pointed out that "frustratingly sporadic 3G signals" brought average speeds down in those areas and made it difficult for people to rely on internet access via their mobile.

Alex Buttle, director of Top10.com, said despite attempts by the government and mobile operators to improve 3G connectivity, there were still disparities across the UK.

"Across large swathes of the UK, and worryingly in some of the country's largest towns and cities, such as Birmingham and Liverpool, 3G broadband speeds are simply not up to scratch," Buttle said in a statement.

Liverpool and Birmingham both featured in the list of the 10 slowest 3G cities with Liverpool recording an average speed of 2.21Mbps and Birmingham mobile broadband speeds averaging at 2.43Mbps.

The news that Ofcom is to auction off spectrum to be used for 4G mobile broadband is expected to be welcomed by residents of the cities named as having the worst mobile broadband speeds.

However, Buttle added that "networks should probably be trying to ensure their 3G house is in order before they start promoting 4G services".

The Top10.com report provides good news for some residents. Users in Peterborough can browse happily on their smartphones knowing their city has the fastest 3G mobile broadband in the UK with average speeds of 3.86Mbps.

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