UK users give 3G broadband the thumbs down

A straw poll of mobile broadband users in the UK has uncovered widespread dissatisfaction with stagnant performance levels.

At a time of rising fixed broadband speeds, BroadbandGenie’s online poll of 1,500 users found that only one in five were satisfied with the speeds on offer, which the comparison service reckons are still well below 2Mbit/s on average.

Five-six percent described themselves as unhappy with a further 22 percent ‘unsure’ how they felt. Only 5.3 percent were happy with performance. The core problem could be the relative expense and consumer expectations which are being spoiled by improving fixed throughputs.

“They [consumers] expect that experience to translate to their internet experience on the move – thanks to poor reception, frequent drop-outs and slow speeds, it simply isn’t even close,” said Broadband Genie’s editor Chris Marling.

“This is another damning indictment on the state of mobile broadband in the UK.”

Marling was also critical of the role of Ofcom, which he said had dragged its hells over the introduction of 4G technology spectrum which might improve performance and resilience. Services could now be delayed until 2013 at the earliest, leaving consumers stuck with second best.

“It’s a joke, especially when you consider there were complaints about the auction being put off as far back as early 2010, when the general election got in the way,” Marling said.

A BBC survey from August also found another problem with 3G - patchy coverage. Meanwhile alternatives such as Wi-Fi are expanding to fill some of the holes left by mobile broadband, according to a recent report. These services have more limited coverage but cost less to build and use and work now.

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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