EE Still UK’s Top Network As O2 And Vodafone ‘Struggle’ Outside Cities

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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New tests from RootMetrics show Three, O2 and Vodafone are closing the gap on EE, but the latter two are much better in cities than elsewhere

EE is still the UK’s best mobile network but the other three operators are all improving as 4G rollouts continue, according to new tests from RootMetrics.

The independent research firm covered 24,000 miles and took 1.1 million samples for its latest report, which assessed each network’s performance across in the UK, in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and in the country’s 16 biggest metro areas.

EE secured an overall score of 89.4 across the UK, ahead of Three with 84.7, Vodafone with 74.5 and O2 on 72.7. EE also placed first in reliability, speed, mobile Internet, calls and texts, with Three finishing second in all categories apart from speed, which was claimed by Vodafone.


EE Shoot, London - 29 Oct 2014RootMetrics said EE’s 4G rollout has improved its performance and encouraged other operators to accelerate their own deployments, improving services for all consumers and businesses. It said Vodafone was an operator to watch in future reports and suggested O2’s reliability should improve as it continues its LTE plans.

“EE is continuing to come out on top for mobile performance, but there is a heated – and often close – battle with the other operators,” said Chris Smith, RootMetrics General Manager for Europe.

However the company noted that EE finished top overall in all but three categories on a nation-by-nation basis, with Three securing joint-first for mobile Internet in Wales and reliability in both Scotland and Wales. It suggested there as a “clear separation” between the wide area coverage of EE and Three and the more metro-oriented coverage of Vodafone and O2.

All four operators have committed a combined £5 billion to improve mobile coverage across the UK as part of a deal with the government which will not require the networks to participate in a “national roaming” infrastructure.

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