Have yourself a merry little read of our 4G test

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We’ve read the claims and seen the advertisements. So how  do real-life 4G speeds match up to the reality of getting a useful connection?

Tis the season to be superfast. The holidays are upon us and London is about to be drowned in a sea of shoppers looking for the latest gadgets, trendy accessories and, in our case, last minute deals. So what better way to see how 4G is adapting to real life than by braving the hordes of London’s top shopping destinations?

Regrettably Vodafone couldn’t supply a test 4G SIM in time. So we bought an O2 pay-as-you-go 4G SIM card and borrowed a ‘friend’s’ EE SIM to see if it was worthy of its place in Kevin Bacon’s CV.

Doubtless your customers will be hoping for a 4G phone this Christmas and you’ll want to know the best advice to give them on real-life use. Which is why we spent a freezing November day prowling around London’s most prestigious shopping destinations – from premium posh people venues like Harrods, to the ‘Blade Runner’ mayhem of Oxford Street.  We  may have also spent far too long in Hamleys in Regents Street (on a strictly professional basis.)

Bear in mind that EE has consistently promised between 24Mbps and 30Mbps in London, which we found so far falls into the ‘over promise and under deliver’ category of technical development.

We used a Nokia Lumia 625 loaded up with Ookla’s standard speedtest.net app.

Westfield Stratford

EE won the first round with 7.94Mbps download speeds and 2.35Mbps on uploads. But O2 was only just behind, hitting 6.29Mbps and 1.16Mbps respectively.

Westfield Shepherd’s Bush

Things slowed for O2 here, hitting download speeds of 3.17Mbps and uploads of 1.58Mbps. EE flashed by with a rather WHOOSHY  41.74Mbps on downloads and 17.15Mbps on uploads. 2 – 0 to EE, then.

Greenwich Market

If you prefer your shopping to be a  more genteel experience, you can head to Greenwich Market. However, if you’re hoping for a data connection, stay well away. Both networks failed to connect at all in between the stalls.  KEVIN!

Canary Wharf

O2 finally woke up, offering 23.88Mbps downloads and 9.82Mbps uploads. It was EE that faltered this time, hitting 14.07Mbps and 2.17Mbps respectively.

Full article in Mobile News issue 553 (December 3, 2013).

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