EE 4G Tests Show Speeds Live Up To Expectations

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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Tests by RootMetrics show EE 4G is keeping its promises in Liverpool, Cardiff and Sheffield

EE 4G speeds and coverage are largely living up to the operator’s promises in Cardiff, Liverpool and Sheffield, according to independent research from mobile network testing company RootMetrics.

The firm conducted 95,672 separate on-the-ground readings taken by professional testers taking measurements indoors, outdoors and while driving, although hopefully when someone else was behind the steering wheel.

Interestingly, while EE’s competitors have suggested that the operator’s 4G service will not work very well indoors, RootMetrics’s did not bear this out, and found fewer little difference between indoor and outdoor service. EE is currently the UK’s only 4G operator, having been given permission to operate such a service on its existing spectrum, prior to the Ofcom auction of 4G bandwidth.

EE 4G speed tests

EE Store 2EE has claimed that customers using its superfast service will receive average speeds of between 8 and 12 Mbps. Liverpool achieved speeds of 9.4Mbps, Cardiff 11.8Mbps and Sheffield 7.9Mbps. This met EE’s promise, within the margin of error,  and in each case the speeds were more than twice as fast as the next fastest network in each of the three cities.

However, RootMetrics noted that the speeds are lower than the full potential of LTE technology at this stage. Previous tests conducted by the firm in Manchester suggested that EE 4G covered just 40 percent of the city.

“EE’s 4G network has lived up to its own promises: speeds are meeting EE’s pledges and indoor performance is reasonably good,” said Bill Moore, CEO and President of RootMetrics. “. At the same time, the technology is more powerful than the bar that has been set, and there should be room for further improvement.”

“When it comes to availability of EE 4G in city centres, the picture is positive if not universally excellent,” he added. “We see the percentage of 4G improving in line with other launches, but there are some notable variations like people in Cardiff getting a better service than those in Sheffield, despite paying the same. And in nearby suburbs, the picture is mixed as to whether 4G is available yet. Anyone wanting to upgrade to 4G should first check how good their coverage would be before they buy.”

EE 4G is currently available in 28 UK towns and cities, and will reach 65 towns and cities by June, covering 55 percent of the UK population.

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