Mobile 4G connection “varies wildly” across the UK, which lags behind Estonia and Peru for overall availability, latest figures show.
Middlesbrough is the best city for 4G access with 83% availability, while Bournemouth is the worst at 68%, the report from consumer group Which? and independent mobile coverage analyst OpenSignal found.
The average overall 4G availability across the UK is 65%, meaning mobile users can only access 4G nearly two-thirds of the time.
This ranks the UK at just 54th in the world, behind Estonia and Peru, according to a previous report published by OpenSignal in November.
The comparison of 20 of the biggest cities across the UK placed London at 16th on the table, above Nottingham, Cardiff, Southampton and Bournemouth.
Glasgow and Edinburgh came 9th and 10th respectively.
The report also looked at average 4G download speeds across the UK, finding Stoke-on-Trent to be the fastest city and Brighton the slowest.
Which? is calling on the next government to work with Ofcom and mobile providers to ensure that “critical” reforms are made to the market that deliver better performance and service for customers.
The OpenSignal study analysed more than 500 million data readings from mobile phones taken from more than 30,000 users between 1 December and 28 February.
Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: “These latest findings underline the need for Ofcom to keep the pressure on mobile operators, so that every part of the country gets a decent service on their mobile phone.
“Our mobile phone is central to how we live our lives and that is why it is so frustrating when we can't access emails or browse the internet on the go.”
OpenSignal chief executive Brendan Gill said: “The mobile data experience isn't the same in every city for UK consumers.
“OpenSignal users found 4G signals more often in Middlesbrough than in Manchester and faster 4G connections in Stoke than in London.”
An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We agree that mobile coverage must improve and understand the importance of having reliable mobile broadband, wherever people live and work.
UK news in pictures
UK news in pictures
1/19 24 June 2017
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses revellers from the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival
2/19 23 June 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses a news conference at the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 23, 2017
3/19 22 June 2017
Cosplay fans (L-R) George Massingham, Abbey Forbes and Karolina Goralik travel by tube dressed in Harry Potter themed costumes, after a visit to one the literary franchise's movie filming locations at Leadenhall Market in London, Britain
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Racegoers cheer on their horse on Ladies Day at the Royal Ascot horse racing meet, in Ascot, west of London
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A reveller walks among the tipi tents at the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts on Worthy Farm near the village of Pilton in Somerset, South West England
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A police officer lays some flowers passed over by a member of the public, close to Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, after one man died and eight people were taken to hospital and a person arrested after a rental van struck pedestrian
The Borough Market bell is seen in Borough Market in central London following its re-opening after the June 3 terror attack
Two women embrace in Borough Market, which officially re-opens today following the recent attack, in central London
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan attends the re-opening of Borough market in central London following the June 3 terror attack
People walk through Borough Market in central London following its re-opening after the June 3 terror attack
News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch, with one of his daughters, visit Borough Market, which officially re-opened today following the recent attack
A woman reacts in front of a wall of messages in Borough Market, which officially re-opened today following the recent attack, in central London
Vivenne Westwood walks the runway at the Vivenne Westwood show during the London Fashion Week Men's June 2017 collections
Millwall fan and London Bridge hero Roy Larner on 'Good Morning Britain'
Richard Arnold, Roy Larner, Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on 'Good Morning Britain'
16/19 11 June 2017
England players celebrate after defeating Venezuela 1-0 to win the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea 2017 at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea
17/19 11 June 2017
England players celebrate with the trophy after the final match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017 between Venezuela and England at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea
18/19 11 June 2017
Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee celebrates winning the Elite Men Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds
Danny Lawson/PA Wire
19/19 11 June 2017
Two men drink beer outside the Southwark Tavern which reopened for business today next to an entrance to Borough Market which remains closed in London
“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.”
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