Mobile web usage is on the rise. In a past Web App Testing post we covered a survey showing that 55% of mobile phone owners use their device to access the Internet. With such a high mobile browsing adoption, it is imperative to have a reliable data connection across all locations around the world.
Unfortunately this is not the case for the UK. According to Zen Terrelonge of Mobile Entertainment:
“London has Buckingham Palace and New York has the Empire State Building, but network performance analyst RootMetrics says there’s no comparison for mobile web speeds in the two cities.
More than 16,000 ground tests showed that connections in the Big Apple are an average of four times faster at 8.5Mbps, falling to just 2.27 for London.
The results show that browsing speeds in the UK are hugely disjointed, with O2 powering high speeds of 12.5Mbps in Chingford Mount, rather than the centre of London.
Meanwhile, Three is hailed as the best overall network speed in terms of internet and texts, even clocking up 7.3Mbps for the village of Snodland in Kent.
Here is a case where in-the-wild localization testing of these different connection speeds uncovered a big issue. A 4X difference is a huge speed margin between connections in NY and the UK. This is also a red flag for application developers who launch their apps internationally, to test their apps in-the-wild in the UK and across locations.