Want the fastest download speeds? Head to Stoke, duck.

I work in Stoke. It gets a bad reputation but there’s some very friendly people there and they do oatcakes. Lovely oatcakes. There’s even a oatcake boat on the canal which sells them. Stick some bacon and eggs in one of those, wrap it up – boom!

Anyhow, OpenSignal and Which? have been testing out 4G signals and speeds across the UK. They’ve found that, as far as coverage is concerned, Middlesbrough is the best place to get 4G and Bournemouth is the worst. If you’re looking for pure speed, then yes – it’s Stoke that wins. They’ve got the fastest speeds whilst Brighton has the slowest.

The report measured data from mobile phones across 20 cities in the UK. Strangely, the bottom of the availability pile is London – our capital city. If you live or work there, you’ll only get 4G 73.6% of the time. However, in Middlesbrough or Teesside you’ll get 4G 82.7% of the time.

Brendan Gill, CEO and co-founder of OpenSignal, said..

The mobile data experience isn’t the same in every city for UK consumers. OpenSignal users found LTE signals more often in Middlesbrough than in Manchester and faster 4G connections in Stoke than in London.

After spending the last couple of weekends in Wales, I must admit that coverage still has a loooooong way to go. Anything west of Welshpool seemed to be a sea of GPRS and EDGE on my Vodafone handset, and picking up 3G was a dream.

4G? PAH!

As I’ve mentioned before here (remember how I can’t get a Vodafone signal outside the Vodafone shop in Lichfield?), whacking up additional masts is a bit of an ordeal for networks due to planning regulations, so Which? is calling on Ofcom and the next government to help mobile providers provide better coverage and performance with critical new reforms.

An Ofcom spokeswoman stated that..

Ofcom rules mean that virtually all UK premises must receive a 4G signal by the end of this year. We’re also making available valuable new airwaves to boost mobile broadband, and have challenged mobile operators to explore how to reach all remote areas and transport lines.

Let’s hope that happens. Until then though, if you want a speedy connection, head to Stoke-on-Trent.