While Verizon may have been the first to wow us with its LTE speeds, the US carrier may not hold the lead for long. Communications regulator Ofcom has predicted that within a couple of years the UK will be the world-leader in adopting LTE, with James Thickett, Ofcom’s director of market research, suggesting that the push toward 4G connectivity is a result of “the extent to which UK users are embracing the mobile internet in such a big way.”
Still, with no 4G networks in operation currently, versus the US’ trio of HSPA+, WiMAX and LTE, it seems the UK has plenty of room to catch up. Although the technologies being rolled out in the US are arguably not true 4G, and only using the nomenclature as a convenient shorthand to differentiate from existing 3G networks, as we’ve seen with Verizon’s LTE service they do offer comparatively huge speeds: we recorded 12.4Mbps downloads and 6.73Mbps uploads.
Ofcom’s prediction is part of the regulator’s annual International Communications Market report, which also found a greater tendency for UK users to get online via laptops rather than desktops, and that the growth of smartphone adoption was – at 70-percent in the last year – the highest of the countries covered. However, HDTV adoption has been lower than in most countries, which Ofcom blames on relatively poor service availability.