The study revealed that the average mobile broadband speed was 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps), which meant that basic web pages took an average of 8.5 seconds to download. By contrast fixed broadband over telephone lines offers an average 6.2Mbps in a study done in November and December 2010; with that, the same pages loaded in less than 0.5s.
Other findings from the Ofcom report include:
• Average speeds rose in areas with good 3G coverage, to 2.1Mbps
• during the “congested” peak evening period of 8pm-10pm, average speeds fell to 1.7Mbps
Different mobile broadband providers performed differently.
• O2, Vodafone and 3 offered faster average download speeds than T-Mobile and Orange, the networks operated by Everything Everywhere
• O2 on average had faster connections than other operators, and more responsive connections when users made web requests
This research gives consumers a clearer picture of the performance of mobile broadband dongle and datacards as consumers use these services to complement fixed-line services, or sometimes as their principal means of accessing online services.
Ofcom has published a guide for consumers with advice on what to think about when choosing a mobile broadband service