Vodafone Named As ‘Fastest UK Network’ In O2 Survey

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Vodafone has the fastest network for mobile browsing in the UK, according to an independent survey…commissioned by rival operator O2

Officials over at Vodafone must be feeling a tad smug at the moment, after an independent survey commissioned by one of its rivals, found that Vodafone was the fastest network for mobile web browsing.

The tests were carried out by consultancy Siroda, and the results were independently verified. It measured speeds on each of the UK’s five mobile broadband networks (Vodafone, O2, Orange, T-Mobile, and 3) to see which provided the fastest service. The tests measured the time it took to access a webpage, as well as the speed of downloading a typical music file.

The tests were carried out at different times of the day, seven days a week, at 150 locations over a 60 day period. The 150 locations were all apparently located within 20 British cities, and not in any rural areas however.

The survey found that O2 had the fastest web page download speeds in four of the 20 cities, but Vodafone was fastest in five. O2 was however found to be the fastest in terms of music download speeds, achieving first place in 12 of the cities tested, with Vodafone in second place.

According to PC Pro however, Siroda admitted that O2 hand-picked the 20 cities itself where the tests would be run. Last year O2 announced it would upgrade its mobile network across the UK, in an effort to meet the rising demand for mobile broadband. O2 has in the past been criticised by the regulator Ofcom over its limited 3G coverage in the UK compared to rival networks.

The survey did offer up some other interesting data, after it found that O2 delivers the fastest web page transfer speed (1.7 seconds) in London compared to rival operators. This comes after O2 suffered a number of embarrassing network failures in London last year, which led  to a public apology from the operator.