Say no to slow Get up to speed on 4G coverage near you
4G Explained The 4G network is about speed. A typical 3G connection delivers between download speeds of 1.5Mb/s, and its theoretical best performance level of 7.2Mb/s.

With 4G, users can expect 12-15Mb/s as an average, but in good coverage areas at certain times some carriers are suggesting download speeds could reach 60Mb/s. In theory, the capabilities of the 4G network could soon go beyond 100Mb/s.

4G Benefits Increasing the speed of your mobile connection allows you to make the most of the features that you may have previously connected to a Wi-Fi connection for, such as downloading videos, music and games, making Skype or FaceTime calls, and streaming video on the web.

Browsing speeds will also be increased, meaning those emergency web searches will be faster, and apps will work more effectively.

History of wireless standards As the name suggests, 4G is the fourth generation of mobile network standards, with roughly a decade between each release.

2G introduced basic data services including text messaging and internet access through WAP, but it was 3G which really opened up the power of the internet to mobile phones - and fundamentally changed the way they were developed to make the most of web browsing services.

Future of wireless standards The speed that 4G can offer is limited by the capabilities of the networks themselves, and the hardware on offer.

In theory, a 4G LTE network could offer download rates of 300Mb/s, giving software and hardware developers plenty of scope for the next ten years. Beyond that, working groups are looking at heterogeneous networks which could even include things such as vehicles that could communicate with each other.

Average residential
UK broadband speed

14.7 Mbit/s

Average residential UK
broadband speed
reached in May 2013.
Ofcom

Top network average upload &
download speed

22.7 Mbit/s
29.6 Mbit/s

List of major cities with
4G coverage

London

Bristol

Manchester

Brighton

Leeds

Portsmouth

Glasgow

Edinburgh

Newcastle

Cardiff

Liverpool

Oxford

Nottingham

Cambridge

Sheffield

Coventry

Belfast

Networks with 4G