Symbol image: cell tower

Mobile communications and Internet in the United Kingdom

Compared to the United States, the United Kingdom is at the forefront of the development of telecommunications. Under the country code +44, there were a total of 112.37 million connections in 2021. Among them were 79.77 million mobile phones, which corresponds to an average of 1.2 per person. In the US, this figure is 1.1 mobile phones per person.

With about 8.11 million webhosts, the United Kingdom is below the world's average by population. At the end of 2020, 2.45 million of these, or about 30 percent, were secured with SSL or comparable encryption.

Back to overview: United Kingdom

Internet speed for cell phones and fixed network

With an average download speed of 81.18 Mbit/second for fixed-network broadband internet, the United Kingdom ranks 53rd in an international comparison. The upload rate of only 21.11 Mbit/second was significantly lower (90th place).
In mobile internet, i.e., on tablets and smartphones, the United Kingdom comes 52nd with a download speed of 43.33 Mbit/second. The upload speed of around 7 Mbit was only enough for 122nd place.

The Speedtest Global Index published regularly by Ookla is based on several million individual measurements in April 2023 from 180 countries.

Mobile phone rates in the United Kingdom

Every year, the International Telecommunication Union calculates for many countries what a mobile phone contract costs to use. A monthly budget averaging US$ 18.70 was calculated the United Kingdom in 2021. Compared to the previous year, this amount decreased by 10 cents.

The ITU refers to the costs for monthly use and includes 140 telephony minutes, 70 text messages and a data transfer of 2 GBytes. The transfer speed should be the minimum of a 3G connection, i.e. at least UMTS, which is already outdated in many parts of the world. 2 GBytes do not sound much. However, this is already quite a high consumption in a worldwide comparison. If one does not take a fixed amount in US dollars, but converts it to the economic output per inhabitant, a user in the United Kingdom spends 0.58% of his gross national income on mobile telephony. Worldwide, this rate is around 6.6 percent.

In the USA, the monthly cost was around $38.10.

Network coverage with 5G

In 2021, network coverage with the 5G standard was already 46 percent of all inhabitants. The proportion of the population with at least 4G mobile Internet access was 99.9 percent. The 4G network standard includes both LTE and WiMAX.

The following diagrams show the development of the various telephone and internet connections as a percentage of the country's population. Values above 100 percent mean that, on average, every inhabitant has more than one connection.

Access to the internet in the United Kingdom from 1990 - 2021

Broadband internet in the United Kingdom 2000 - 2021

Symbol image: cell towerThe expansion of broadband internet in the United Kingdom is roughly on a par with the USA. Around 97 percent of all residents have access to the internet. Around 41 percent have their own fast internet connection, which is at least faster than the former ISDN (more than 256 kbit/s). All fixed connections via DSL, cable or satellite were counted here, but not those connected to the internet via mobile communications. With around 2.3 people per household, this means that around 94.8 percent of all households are equipped with a high-speed internet connection.

Landlines 1990 - 2021

Mobile phones 1990 - 2021

The two largest telecommunications providers based in the United Kingdom are BT Group in London and Vodafone in Berkshire. BT Group had a market capitalization of US$ 23.74 billion in 2022, , with total revenues of US$ 28.84 billion. The number of employees was 99,700. The value of Vodafone was US$ 46.36 billion, with revenues of US$ 53.63 billion. Vodafone had 105,000 employees.

All international calling codes

Distribution in 2021United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Internet users65.09 m96.68 %304.52 m91.75 %
Broadband users27.74 m41.20 %125.89 m37.93 %
Landlines32.60 m48.42 %97.82 m29.47 %
Mobile cellulars79.77 m118.49 %361.66 m108.97 %

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