Brits are getting just 24 percent of speeds advertised by mobile broadband providers, says Broadband Expert.
According to research by the broadband comparison site between March and August this year, the average actual download speed was 1.1Mbs compared to the average advertised maximum speed of 4.5Mbs.
Broadband Expert said Vodafone offered the fastest average speed in its trials at 1.3Mbps. However, that just 18 percent of its headline speed of 7.2Mbps, the worst of all providers tested.
"It is completely unreasonable for a provider to advertise unrealistically high speeds that the vast majority of customers will never receive. Advertising in this way will not help the long-term growth of mobile broadband or the reputation of the providers if customers feel they are being misled," said Rob Webber, Broadband Expert's commercial director.
"Consumers who see mobile broadband advertised at such high speeds may see it as a realistic alternative to home broadband, whereas in truth it should be seen as a complementary technology. Continued developments in the mobile broadband industry will undoubtedly allow it to become a true competitor in the future, but at the moment - as our research shows - there is still a way to go."
Vodafone said that its customers choose reliability and consistency over speed.
"We are doubling our network capability to 14.4 Mbps. This means even more of our customers will enjoy greater reliability and better average connection speeds on their existing devices" said the mobile boradband provider.
"We've been careful to communicate what customers will typically experience from mobile broadband and give examples on vodafone.co.uk to show long a presentation, image or document will take to download using 1.2Mbps."
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