The networks spit out various speeds they reckon we should be getting. Maximum speeds we never come close to, as well as "average" speeds that always seem a tad optimistic. It seems Ofcom's become a bit sick of it, just like us. It's going to conduct its own tests, to officially tell one and all how fast each mobile network really is.
In my opinion, it's about time that the network regulator got stuck in with something like this. Now that we barely use our phones for anything else except data, it's time we replaced those mandated coverage maps that tell you where you can make a call, with something a bit more useful. A map that told you what kind of speeds you're actually going to get on the ground in different areas with different networks would genuinely be useful. No longer would you be at the mercy of guesswork and trial and error. It's true apps and services like Root Metrics are already doing this, but with Ofcom's rubber stamp officially decreeing one network as better than another, we could finally see some improvement.
When you can directly compare networks with official numbers, we'll have something to beat the teclos into submission with. So, when they say, well, you should get 5Mbps where you are, we'll know whether they're bullshitting or not. Ofcom's going to be putting this thing out to tender soon, with a report aimed for spring next year. This kind of data can only be good for the consumer, and might even be enough to leverage the networks to do something about the dead spots. [TechRadar Pro]
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