The UK’s biggest networks have been put through their paces in another major benchmarking test.
The team from RootMetrics have been travelling across the whole UK with O2, EE, Vodafone and Three all checked for how well they perform in areas such as speed, data, reliability and overall performance.
RootMetrics say they visited over 750 parts of the country with more than 500,000 checks completed with everything tested using off-the-shelf Samsung Galaxy G9 smartphones purchased from operator stores to help keep things fair.
So who came out on top?
Once again it appears that EE is leading the way with the network scoring highly for speed, data, reliability and overall performance.
EE also scored the highest when it comes to downloads with the network scoring 37.6 Mbps across the entirety of the UK – the fastest among all operators.
This is now the sixth year in a row that EE has hit the top spot but the competition is closing in.
Coming just behind EE was Vodafone who also performed exceptionally well during the testing.
In fact, RootMetrics states that Vodafone has improved its rankings for network reliability and call performance from last year and has moved from second in their last test period into a two-way tie for first with EE when it comes to texting.
Vodafone’s improvements in the latest round of testing can in part be attributed to its network investments.
Its recent deployment of 4G LTE carrier aggregation technology has helped improve its speeds and offer excellent reliability in UK towns and cities. Not only was Vodafone one of only two operators to record download speeds above 40 Mbps but also it led the way with the single fastest speed across all testing: its 51.7 Mbps speed in Liverpool was the fastest recorded in the UK.
Vodafone is then followed by Three Mobile who came third in every test with O2 coming fourth.
Here’s the full list of scores from RootMetrics
Overall performance – EE 96.1 • Vodafone 95.2 • Three 92.1 • O2 90.5
Reliability – EE 97.5 • Vodafone 96.8 • Three 95.7 • O2 94.7
Speed – EE 93.1 • Vodafone 91.9 • Three 81.9 • O2 78.5
Data – EE 96.8 • Vodafone 96.1 • Three 91.4 • O2 89.9
Calls – EE 94.9 • Vodafone 93.5 • Three 92.5 • O2 90.3
Texts – EE 99.2 • Vodafone 99.2 • O2 97.7 • Three 96.8
Speaking about the report, Kevin Hasley, Head of Product at RootMetrics by IHS Markit said: “EE’s continued dominance of our testing backed by Vodafone’s improvements means there is healthy competition in the UK mobile operator market. Three and O2 have also performed well in specific categories, leaving a very competitive market.”
“5G is still in its infancy and the vast majority of the customer experience will remain on 4G networks for the foreseeable future. Operators have to balance the early stages of 5G deployments while continuing to improve 4G LTE performance. It will be interesting to see how operators differ in their approach to managing network changes.”
“We’ve already seen an indication of the future from our recent South Korea 5G tests and there is a real opportunity for operators to make a move in ensuring this technology can provide the capacity, low latency and fast speeds required to enable the Internet of Things and connect our world like never before.”
And Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer business, added: “Delivering the best mobile experience for our customers right across the UK is our top priority.
“Being recognised as the UK’s best network for the sixth year running reflects our continued investment in keeping our customers connected to the things that matter most, whether that’s continuing to roll out 4G to even more places or being the first to bring 5G to the busiest places across the UK.”