EE has been crowned Britain’s leading major mobile operator – winning, or sharing, all six mobile performance categories tested in a new comprehensive report.
The BT-owned company’s impressive rankings in the second half of 2018 were based on the testing of reliability, speed, data, call and text performance, receiving a score of 94.5 out of 100.
The research was conducted by RootMetrics by purchasing Samsung Galaxy S8 and S9 smartphones.
They walked and drove around with the phones both in the day and at night to measure their performance on four of the main UK networks: EE, Three, O2 and Vodafone.
EE has named as the UK’s leading mobile operator after winning – or sharing – all six awards in comprehensive testing
Testing focused on the activities consumers typically use their smartphones for, including data, call, and text usage.
RootMetrics – alongside London-based global information provider IHS Markit – performed 600,476 tests, drove 20,294 miles, tested 652 indoor locations and covered 100 per cent of the population.
EE has now won the UK overall award in 11 consecutive rounds of testing, dating back to when RootMetrics first began UK-wide testing in the second half of 2013.
Britain’s largest mobile phone provider has plans to roll out 5G across 16 cities in 2019, including London, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester.
Vodafone took second place for overall performance, helped along by strong results in network speed, data performance and text performance and received another impressive score of 92.9 out of 100.
Three came third, falling one place since the first half of last year, scoring 91.1 out of 100.
|Market||Fastest median download speed||Slowest median download speed|
|Edinburgh high-congestion areas (outdoors)||EE 26.3 Mbps||Three 8.2 Mbps|
|London high-congestion areas (outdoors)||EE 39.6 Mbps||Three 3.6 Mbps|
|Manchester high-congestion areas (outdoors)||Vodafone 79.8 Mbps||Three 6.8 Mbps|
The network showed improvement in call performance testing and kept its position as a strong network for reliability – only narrowly trailing EE in this category.
Its UK-wide results were generally strong with a shared win in the call category and second-place finishes for network reliability and text performance.
However, when its download speed was tested in high congestion areas across the country, it was found to be the slowest out of the other networks in every city.
The testing by RootMetric covered 100% of the population looked at text, call and data usage
O2, the UK’s second largest network, ranked last in four out of the six test categories, scoring 89.5 out of 100, staying identical to the prior round of testing conducted in the first half of 2018.
The provider also finished second, in a three-way tie, in the text performance category for the third straight test period.
1. EE, 94.5 out of 100
2. Vodafone, 92.9 out of 100
3. Three, 91.1 out of 100
4. O2, 89.5 out of 100
It ranked fourth in the categories of overall performance, network reliability, network speed, and data performance for the fifth consecutive test period.
According to RootMetrics, O2 could improve at both nationwide and UK-wide levels by expanding its 4G footprint.
Kevin Hasley, head of product at RootMetrics and executive director of performance benchmarking at IHS Markit, said: ‘EE’s strong performance in testing is testament to the consistent investment into improving its 4G network.
‘Vodafone and Three are also making improvements as they vie for market position. Although O2 ranks fourth in our testing, it is well placed to improve, having secured key parts of the 5G spectrum in 2018.’
Vodafone came a close second, after EE, for overall performance, scoring 92.9 out of 100
As well as testing the UK’s 16 most populated metro areas, RootMetrics also conducted testing in highly congested areas of three cities in the second half of 2018, including Edinburgh, London and Manchester.
These additional tests focused on where most people spend their leisure time. The testing was performed in popular tourist areas, travel destinations, business districts and other areas with a high concentration of traffic.
Hasley added: ‘The latest data suggests that download speeds are highly influenced by variables such as network capacity, demand, time of day and location.
‘Our latest approach to testing in highly congested areas enables consumers and businesses to be better informed before making key buying decisions, such as where to visit, shop, eat and work.
‘This type of analysis will be key to providing accurate data on 5G experience when it rolls out in earnest.’