In Depth

The five best and five worst cities for 4G coverage

Reports say 'poor coverage' in rural areas drops UK signal average to 65 per cent

Middlesbrough and Sheffield are among the best cities in the UK for 4G mobile data coverage, according to a study by Which?.

In a survey of 20 cities around the UK, carried out in partnership with mobile coverage analyst OpenSignal, the consumer watchdog found mobile users in the north-east of England hold a better 4G internet connection on their phone than those in south.

People in Middlesbrough had access to a 4G signal 82.5 per cent of the time they used their phone, while Bournemouth could only manage 67.5 per cent, making it the worst city in the UK. London came in 16th, with 73.6 per cent access.  

"Poor coverage" in rural areas also brought the UK's average 4G connectivity down to 65.1 per cent, although access to mobile internet across the country is "getting better", Which? says.

Director Alex Neill told the BBC the next government should collaborate with Ofcom and network providers for "critical reforms" to improve mobile coverage.

She added: "Our mobile phone is central to how we live our lives and that is why it is so frustrating when we can't access emails or browse the internet on the go".

A government report ranked the UK's mobile coverage below that of Albania and Peru, The Guardian reports, with users "able to connect barely half the time".                                  

"Major roads" and train routes were found to be lacking "adequate signals", while "towns and cities" were also noted as having poor mobile connectivity, adds the paper. 

Top five cities for 4G coverage (with percentage of coverage)

1 Middlesbrough - 82.7

2 Sheffield - 79.3

3 Sunderland - 79

4 Leicester - 78.6

5 Leeds - 78.2

Bottom five cities for 4G coverage (with percentage of coverage)

1 Bournemouth - 67.5

2 Southampton - 69.6

3 Cardiff - 71.8

4 Northampton - 73.3

5 London - 73.6

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