Ofcom tests all four mobile operators in major cities to give consumers a ‘flavour’ of network performance in urban areas
EE offers the best mobile network in an urban environment, according to a new report from Ofcom, which tested the performance of all four major operators in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London and Norwich.
BT’s new subsidiary delivered average download speeds of 20Mbps on a 4G connection across all five cities, faster than Three’s 15Mbps, Vodafone’s 12Mbps and O2’s 10Mbps.
EE was also the most consistent, achieving at least 2Mbps in 92 percent of tests, ahead of Three which scored 87 percent, Vodafone on 82 percent and O2 69 percent, and delivered the fastest upload speeds. It scored a 20Mbps average, compared to Three’s 12Mbps and Vodafone and O2, which both delivered 10Mbps.
Ofcom network tests
Video streaming was also trialled, with testers loading a trailer for the latest James Bond film Spectre. EE loaded the video in HD on 97 percent of occasions, compared to 87 percent of times on Three, 86 percent on Vodafone and 85 percent on O2.
EE was the fastest in every city apart from Norwich, where Three was the quickest, while London was the slowest city overall, with an average speed of 12Mbps across all four networks. EE has the most consistent speeds with 92 percent of tests returning at least 2Mbps, but O2 was the patchiest with just 59 percent.
The regulator said it picked certain metrics to offer consumers an idea of how networks would perform in a real life environment and said the limited number of cites tested meant it was not an “exhaustive” assessment of the four major operators.
“The availability of 4G services is generally more common in cities and urban areas,” said Ofcom. “Our results are presented at a city-by-city level, so they will be of most use to consumers who use their smartphones principally in one or more of our five test cities.”
It added that network performance was just one factor that should influence a choice of network. Earlier this week it published complaints figures that showed a massive rise in issues for Vodafone, an increase the operator attributed to a new billing system. Ofcom has also released customer satisfaction statistics to see how existing subscribers are happy with the level of service they receive.
Other tests, such as those conducted by RootMetrics, cover rural areas of the UK and also suggest EE has the best fastest mobile network, but Three is the most reliable.
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