The UK's biggest cities are struggling with 4G connectivity and speeds

Tyrone Stewart

Middlesbrough is the best place in the UK to get a 4G mobile phone signal, while Stoke-on-Trent offers the highest 4G speeds – with many of the UK’s major cities struggling on both fronts.

Research from consumer group Which? and wireless coverage mapper OpenSignal looked at over 500m data readings, taken from 30,000 OpenSignal app users between 1 December 2016 and 28 February 2017, to assess which one of the UK’s 20 biggest cites offered the best and fastest 4G.

The research found that Middlesbrough offered 82.7 per cent 4G availability, with Bournemouth having the worst at 67.5 per cent. The UK’s capital city London was down in a lowly 16th place with 73.6 per cent availability.

“These latest findings underline the need for Ofcom to keep the pressure on mobile operators, so that every part of the country gets a decent service on their mobile phone,” said Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services at Which?. “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.”

Stoke-on-Trent measured an average 4G speed of 26.6Mbps to top the list for fastest 4G speeds in the UK. Brighton was found to have the slowest speeds at 17.6Mbps, while London once again struggled in 16th place at 20.5Mbps.

“The mobile data experience isn’t the same in every city for UK consumers,” said Brendan Gill, CEO and co-founder of OpenSignal. “OpenSignal users found LTE signals more often in Middlesbrough than in Manchester and faster 4G connections in Stoke than in London.”