My current mobile phone (iPhone 5S, if you want the details) is, like its predecessor (iPhone 4S, can you see a pattern forming there?) on Three UK‘s One Plan, which gives me far more minutes and texts than I could ever use and more importantly, unlimited 3G data, with tethering included.
All very nice, and occasional speed checks have shown download speeds around the 7Mb/s range, which is quite nice for a phone, all things considered.
But things move on, and Three are slowly rolling out an upgrade to their whizzier 4G service. Being quite nice like that, rather than inviting customers to sign up for new contracts, they’re just making 4G available to all customers whose devices support it.
While I was in Manchester a few weeks ago, I was doing quite a lot of tethering, and noticed I was getting a strong 4G signal, which did seem to work quite nicely. And now it seems it’s Newcastle’s turn. I first noticed the 4G indicator on my phone while sitting on a bus in Market Street a few weeks ago, but it was a bit variable, switching back to 3G after a minute or two. However, it seems to be settling down – I’ve noticed the 4G while at the Newcastle end of the Tyne Bridge, and a few other places.
Anyway, while sitting on the bus yesterday, once again waiting for it to leave, I thought I’d do a quick speed test. Now one test can only be taken as a general indication, and you’d need a few in the same location to get a more reliable analysis, but this was quite nice:
Now that is a quite respectable download speed – some people still can’t get that on a fixed line service. The upload speed isn’t anything to get excited about, but it’s quite acceptable, all things considered.
 Unless I become more social, which seems unlikely
 Using the phone as a WiFi hotspot for computers, tablets, etc
 Slight lack of a live internet connection in the office while we were moving things
 Waiting for it to depart and take me home