Mobile broadband speeds still disappointing consumers

Average mobile broadband speeds stood at just over 1Mb in 2009--despite providers advertising ever-faster top speeds. New research from more than 6,000 mobile broadband speed tests showed that average speeds increased by just 0.2Mb during 2009, even though many ISPs boosted their advertised top speed from 3.6Mb to 7.2Mb.

The mobile broadband industry continues to use unrealistic speed claims. "Despite a continued failing to meet customer expectations and a history of complaints, the mobile broadband industry continues to use unrealistic speed claims as one of its main sales techniques," said researchers.

Although most mobile broadband providers now advertise top speeds of up to 7.2Mb--a speed that dongles are capable of achieving in theory--some parts of the UK are still on a maximum of 1.8Mb, and few providers can even deliver that.

Vodafone Mobile Broadband is capable of the fastest theoretical speeds at 14.4Mb, but even when the ISP announced the development in August last year, it warned customers they would only receive typical speeds of between 1Mb and 4 Mb, even in the fastest areas. Article