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UK being held back by 4G speeds which are worse than in Albania

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Emily Badiozzaman
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Turns out its not just you who is constantly infuriated by the dire quality of your network coverage when on the go.

According to a new report published by the National Infrastructure Commission, the UK’s 4G network coverage is so badly lacking that it currently sits lower than the service in Albania, Romania and Peru.

We’re in 54th place in terms of availability, which is about as good as we are at basketball.

Some 20% of urban homes and 80% of rural premises are currently in not-spot areas for 4G coverage and only 8% of major roads have full 4G connectivity, the report found. Even on the motorways, users fail to get either 3G or 4G almost 25% of the time.

Singapore has the fastest 4G speeds in the world, while Costa Rica and Saudi Arabia have the slowest. What’s more, we can only access 4G 53 per cent of the time.

The NIC stated that "there are too many digital deserts and partial not spots, even within our city centres," and we don't have the infrastructure in place yet to deploy 5G on a national scale.

“That isn’t just frustrating, it is increasingly holding British business back as more and more of our economy requires a connected workforce,” said commission chairman Andrew Adonis.

They said the government must now ensure that the next generation of 5G spectrum does not have the failures that dog 4G coverage.

There should be a government collaboration with Ofcom to ensure a universal service obligation by 2025 so that we can essentially keep up with the rest of the world.

The way to improve our internet access actually lies in our rail networks. By improving our infrastructure, you enable connectivity both physically and digitally by building a trackside network.

In addition to that, the report called for “tens of thousands” of small cells to be installed in urban centres to eliminate areas of poor and no reception.

“5G offers us a chance to start again and get ahead. If government acts now, we can ensure our major transport networks and urban centres are 5G ready in time to give British industry every chance to lead the world in exploiting its applications,” Adonis said.

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond announced last month that more than £1bn is to be spent ensuring homes and businesses have access to “gold standard” hyper-fast broadband.

Mr Hammond pledged that two million more homes and businesses could get “full-fibre” broadband, which has the capacity to reach speeds of more than 1Gbps.

Until then, perfect your buffer face.

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Emily Badiozzaman

Emily is a freelance writer for Shortlist.com. She covers breaking news, entertainment, style and lifestyle for the site. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found eating and drinking or thinking about food and drinking. Follow Emily on Twitter: @ebadiozzaman 

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