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Average 4G mobile broadband speeds are more than twice as fast as those delivered via 3G networks, an Ofcom study has revealed.

The media regulator - which assessed the performance of mobile networks in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh - found that average 4G speeds have reached 15.1Mb in the UK.

This compares to just 6.1Mb for consumers still using 3G mobile broadband services.

EE was found to offer the fastest 4G download speeds (18.4Mb), ahead of O2 (15.6Mb), Vodafone (14.3Mb) and Three (10.7Mb).

The broadband provider - which was the first to introduce 4G in the UK in October 2012 - also topped the chart for upload speeds with 14.7Mb, ahead of O2 (13.0Mb), Vodafone (11.4Mb) and Three (11.1Mb).

Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said having fast, reliable broadband on the move is "vital" for many consumers and businesses across the UK.

"4G is providing a significantly enhanced mobile broadband experience to customers, which we expect to be available to 98 per cent of the UK population by 2017 at the latest," he stated.

Mr Richards claimed that improving mobile quality of service is "an important area" of Ofcom's work.

He said the regulator's research both incentivises mobile providers to offer a higher quality of service and helps consumers choose a mobile package that best suits their needs.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch, welcomed the fact that 4G speeds are "undoubtedly improving" in Britain as the technology matures.

However, he warned that the Ofcom study is not a real representation of the UK as a whole, given that the chosen test locations were all key urban centres.

"The true picture for those based outside of major towns and cities - where it is often needed most - is still uncertain," Mr Doku stated.

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