O2 Last Again In RootMetrics Mobile Operator Rankings

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EE maintains its best operator title in all categories as O2 slips down the rankings, Rootmetrics finds

There was good and bad news for individual mobile operators after RootMetrics released its bi-annual report on mobile performance in the UK.

Its latest UK National RootScore Report measured the overall performance, network reliability, network speed, as well as data, call, and text performance for all of the major mobile operators (EE, O2, Three and Vodafone) in this country.

Winners And Losers

In order to obtain the national results, RootMetrics testers carried out more than 800,000 tests in the first half of 2016 across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The tests are designed to accurately represent UK mobile performance from the consumer’s point of view.

Mobile operator EE once again dominated the RooMetric rankings, after it found to be the top performer across all categories. But it is facing tough pressure from Three, which finished as a “strong second”.

o2-logo-square-largeUnfortunately for Three, it lost its award for Network Reliability to EE from the previous report, but the testers said that it had “established itself as the consistent challenger”.

“Three’s reliable data and strong call and text performances helped the network retain its second place position for Overall Performance, despite finishing in last place for Network Speed,” said the firm.

Vodafone was found to have improved its call and text performance, and shared second spot with Three after previously finishing last in this category. Vodafone will no doubt be hoping that its recent network investment pays dividends in the next report.

But there was less good news for O2, after RootMetrics found that its results “remain consistent with their 2H 2015 results.” It seems that O2 slipped from second to fourth in Call and Text, but remains a solid third for Speed.

Overall, RootMetrics said that there had been a “significant improvement” for all mobile operators in speed and LTE coverage over the past two years. It found that EE customers in Coventry benefit from the biggest increase in median download speeds.

Big Improvements

There is little doubt that according to RootMetrics, EE remains the star performer.

Besides scooping the top awards in all categories, it also enjoyed a strong lead in the metro award tally, and won all performance awards in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

RootMetrics found that EE achieved an overall ‘RootScore’ of 92.1 out of 100, followed by Three (85.3), Vodafone (81.3) and O2 (77.7).

Meanwhile at the metro level, EE won 93 total awards outright or in a tie, up from 89 last half. O2 was a distant second with 27 shared awards at the metro level.

“Over the past two years, UK consumers have benefited from big improvements across all operators in the major UK metros,” said Scott Stonham, General Manager of Europe at RootMetrics. “The amount of time consumers are able to access LTE is rising, leading to continued increases in data speeds as well as improvement in reliability. We are not surprised to see an increase in these metrics, and are impressed by the rate of these roll outs.”

RootMetrics Criticism

Seattle-based RootMetrics has been carrying out network tests in the US since 2008, and moved to the UK in the last few years.

Some operators (mostly the ones that don’t do too well) have disputed the firm’s findings and methods. Indeed, the colourful CEO John Legere of T-Mobile in the US reportedly called RootMetrics’ rankings “bullshit”

And O2 – which continues to be rated as the worst operator – is also not a fan. It has complained that RootMetrics doesn’t share enough data and its tests are not accurate.

Three has previously said it prefers YouGov and other tests that take into account other things like customer service.

But RootMetrics has defended its approach and told TechweekEurope last year that its scientific approach gives the best indication of how well a network will perform, giving consumers the chance to make an informed decision and networks the opportunity to improve their service.

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