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4G vs 3G network hands-on speed test

We benchmark EE's upcoming 4G network

EE 4G network test iPhone 5

EE will launch the UK's first 4G LTE network at the end of the month and we've been able to test it, hands-on.

4G can supposedly offer superfast download speeds up to 100Mbps and upload speeds of 50Mbps, but how fast is really? PC Advisor went to test EE's 4G network in central London prior to its commercial launch and here's what we found. See also: EE 4G in the UK: what you need to know.

We only had a short period of time to test the network so this is just a snapshot of what 4G is capable of. Real-life speeds will vary depending on many things such as location and the amount of users online. It's fair to say that our results were a best case scenario – no one is using the 4G network yet and plenty of people are using 3G.

See also: Everything Everywhere launches 4G in UK with new brand.

The fastest download we achieved, according to the Speed Test app, was 41Mbps and the fastest upload speed was 14.3Mbps. However, speeds varied over a number of tests and even between devices.We tested 4G on the Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, Huawei Ascend P1 LTE and HTC One XL.

Our average download speed was 26.4Mbps and our average upload speed was 14.2Mbps, across nearly 20 tests. In our side-by-side test with 3G, the 4G network was, on average, more than three times faster for download and over 10 times faster in upload speeds. EE expects the average download speed to be between 8- and 12Mbps.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

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