How Fast Is UK 3G, Really?

8:30 AM -- For the first time, UK regulator Ofcom is about to put operators' mobile broadband service claims to the test in an independent benchmarking study that will start this month and end in January 2011.

Ofcom wants to know what speeds and service levels users are getting and what the mobile broadband networks can deliver.

The British regulator will rely on test specialist Epitiro and market research company YouGov to monitor mobile broadband from certain locations in the UK, study the performance experienced by a panel of users, and conduct drive tests across the country. The tests will measure several performance metrics, such as accessibility, reliability, and throughput speeds.

The data collected from Three UK , Telefónica UK Ltd. , Orange UK , T-Mobile (UK) , and Vodafone UK will be used to determine how mobile broadband services vary among service providers, locations, and time of day.

Ofcom plans to report the findings in early 2011. Then, we'll really know the UK 3G score.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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