UK mobile broadband providers are delivering only 24 per cent of their advertised download speeds, according to broadband comparison site Broadband Expert.
The comparison website tested 3,342 mobile broadband connections between March 1 2009 and August 31 2009 and found the average download speed was 1.1Mbs, compared with the average advertised speed of 4.5Mbs.
Tests on Vodafone devices showed that the average speed was 1.3 Mbs compared with its advertised speed of 7.2 Mbs – just 18 per cent of the speed advertised.
T-Mobile was the slowest at 0.9Mbs, 20 per cent of the advertised speed. 3 came top for speed at 1.2Mbs, 33.3 per cent of the advertised 3.6Mbs maximum speed.
Broadband Expert commercial director Rob Webber said: “It is completely unreasonable for a provider to advertise unrealistically high speeds that the vast majority of customers will never receive.
“Advertising in this way will not help the long term growth of mobile broadband or the reputation of the providers if customers feel they are being misled.
“Consumers who see mobile broadband advertised at such high speeds may see it as a realistic alternative to home broadband, whereas in truth it should be seen as a complementary technology.
“Continued developments in the mobile broadband industry will undoubtedly allow it to become a true competitor in the future, but at the moment – as our research shows – there is still a way to go.”