A test of all the mobile broadband providers in the UK has revealed that consumers only get a quarter of advertised speeds.
Broadband-expert.co.uk surveyed 3,342 connections from March to August 2009, finding that the average speed was 1.1Mbps from an advertised average of 4.5Mbps.
All five major networks were surveyed, and despite promising speeds of up to 7.2Mbps, Vodafone only achieved 1.3Mbps.
While this was the fastest on test, it was still only 18 per cent of the stated speeds, meaning some consumers could feel slightly short changed.
3 came closest to providing its advertised speeds, giving an average of 1.2Mbps from a stated maximum of 3.2Mbps.
Work still to be done
3 was pleased with its placing in the report, but stated it intends to do more to educate consumers: "While Broadband Expert's research suggests that we have the best record of delivering on MobileBroadband promises, there is still much to be done to ensure that the industry is setting deliverable customer expectations.
"We have always emphasised that, when looking into MobileBroadband services consumers should consider not just speed, but breadth and reliability of coverage. A big consideration when choosing MobileBroadband is the reach of the network, the distance a user is from a mast and the capacity of the pipe that connects the mast to the internet."
Vodafone has recently stated that it will be increasing the speed of its networks up to 14.4Mbps, but it will clearly need to improve its backhaul if it is to offer mobile broadband at anything like that speed.