If you've ever been standing in a London pub, wondering why your Twitter timeline just won't update, there could be a very good reason for it.
An independent investigation by mobile network measurement specialists from Global Wireless Solutions, Inc. (GWS) into data speeds in the Capital has revealed that 4G is still largely unreliable and that revellers have to rely on often-patchy 3G coverage for their selfie-uploading needs.
The hard-working analysts took it upon themselves to go on a City pub crawl, you know, in the name of science, and discovered that across the four major network providers, 4G reliability only averaged out at just over 65% across 14 of the busiest pubs.
They discovered that it takes an average of 34 seconds to upload a photo to Instagram in London, which can seem like an eternity.
Anyone hoping to sneak in a cheeky working lunch in the areas around the capital will likely be disappointed to learn that data speeds are up to three and a half times slower than data watchdog OFCOM suggests they could be.
Even areas in close to No.10 Downing Street fell well below expected standards, with the Silver Cross Tavern offering limited 4G coverage on EE, and The Sherlock Holmes just off Northumberland Street tested slowest of all the locations covered when it came to data speeds.
CEO of GWS, Paul Carter, said “Great British pub culture is alive and well – but our research suggests that the days of going for ‘a quiet drink’ are over; your friends – and your boss – will have no trouble reaching punters while they’re reaching for their pints. That said, networks clearly have a lot more work to do when it comes to rolling out 4G; our data suggests that pub quiz cheats will be relying on 3G for some time yet.”
“With the right kind of political support, operators would be able to make faster progress on the 4G front – unfortunately, the misleading data put out by the regulator and the Government’s harsh ‘national roaming’ ultimatum have had the opposite effect. When these political attitudes change, consumers will benefit.”
So for the time being, you’ll have to struggle through a patchy Snapchat experience, try and Tweet some other time or, you know, talk to your mates face to face, until 4G becomes available at least.