Stay connected in Britain

We live in a world where mobile connectivity is a frequent topic of discussion amongst almost everyone. Our mobile devices have become an extension of us, we expect seamless connectivity wherever we are and feel lost when we can’t use our devices. Gone are the days where teenagers were the ones with their heads buried in their phones, now people of all ages are not only attached but somewhat dependent.

A report conducted by Which? and OpenSignal, ranked the availability and speed of 4G in 20 of Britain’s largest cities. Surprisingly Stoke-on-Trent topped the 4G speeds list with an average of 26.6 Mbps and Middlesborough/Teeside with 82.7% for 4G availability. Even though Britain’s capital city, London, was one of the first cities to receive 4G, the tourist location featured in the bottom 5 for both speed and availability.

From launching 4G to now
When 4G was launched across 11 cities in October 2015, EE promised speeds between 8 -12Mbps, which was 5 times faster than 3G. So to be reaching averages between 17 and 26Mbps shows the progression of this network service. This increase in data services is vital to be able to support the requirements of the evolving smart city environment. Whether it’s for business or personal, everyone not only expects a signal but also expects a service that can support their data-hungry applications. Operators are feeling the pressure to develop and deliver enhanced network services to keep their customers happy.

Increasing 4G availability
There are numerous challenges when it comes to improving mobile network availability, especially in densely populated cities. One of the main reasons 4G signal isn’t reaching users is because the signal cannot penetrate buildings due to the materials used. With 80% of mobile phone usage occurring inside, this is proving to be a problem for operators. There are lots of drivers that influence consumers to select operators but one of the key factors is mobile phone coverage. Users expect a signal wherever they are; therefore Operators need to find a solution…

One option is Distributed Antenna Systems, as known as DAS. The Cobham Wireless Fibre DAS system works by taking the RF signal from the Operators signal source, often a base station, and distributing via fibre optic cables to remote units capable of extending the coverage throughout the building. In environments such as densely populated cities, where the base station is positioned outside of the city, this can prove a problem as the signal attenuates over distance. Using a Fibre DAS system can reduce the signal loss by turning the signal into light for the duration of the distance, before converting back into RF signal for distribution around the building – providing the quality of signal users demand. Want to learn more? Why not take a look at our video – A short lesson in in-building coverage…from those in the know

4G Speed in Britain’s 20 largest cities 4G Availability in Britain’s 20 largest cities
Stoke-on-Trent 26.6 Mbps Middlesbrough/Teesside 82.7%
Coventry 24.8 Mbps Sheffield 79.3%
Leicester 24.4 Mbps Sunderland 79.0%
Liverpool 24.4 Mbps Leicester 78.6%
Nottingham 24.2 Mbps Leeds/West Yorkshire 78.2%
Birmingham/West Midlands 24.1 Mbps Liverpool 78.1%
Manchester 23.4 Mbps Newcastle/Tyneside 77.9%
Bournemouth/Poole 23.1 Mbps Birmingham/West Midlands 77.5%
Sunderland 22.8 Mbps Glasgow 77.5%
Southampton/Portsmouth 22.6 Mbps Edinburgh 77.0%
Newcastle/Tyneside 22.5 Mbps Bristol 75.9%
Leeds/West Yorkshire 22.5 Mbps Manchester 75.3%
Glasgow 21.9 Mbps Brighton and Hove 75.2%
Sheffield 21.3 Mbps Coventry 74.8%
Middlesbrough/Teesside 20.8 Mbps Stoke-on-Trent 74.3%
London 20.5 Mbps London 73.6%
Edinburgh 20.4 Mbps Nottingham 73.3%
Bristol 18.8 Mbps Cardiff 71.8%
Cardiff 17.7 Mbps Southampton/Portsmouth 69.6%
Brighton and Hove 17.6 Mbps Bournemouth/Poole 67.5%

Source: Which? and OpenSignal

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Anthony_Sutton_Blog Sam Dilley Marketing Communications Manager, Cobham Wireless

Sam has over 8 years experience in Marketing Communications with 5 years in the Telecommunications industry.

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