In the first half of 2023, RootMetrics conducted extensive testing to assess the end-user mobile experience across major metropolitan markets, nations, and the UK as a whole.
EE, the longstanding leader, continued to shine in the UK-wide testing. It secured the top position in all seven RootScore categories, securing the UK Overall RootScore Award for the tenth consecutive year.
Marc Allera, CEO of EE, said:
“The quality and reliability of mobile networks are now more important, to more people, than ever before. To have been the UK’s number one mobile network for a whole decade is a testament to our approach of always putting network quality at the heart of our customer experience.
We are at the start of a new chapter in the mobile industry, one which will see the new generation of EE evolve and provide more than just the connectivity we are famous for. It’s fantastic to have the solid foundation of being the UK’s best mobile network for ten consecutive years on which to build our exciting future.”
EE’s aggregate median download speed of 65.1 Mbps was the fastest among all operators, providing users with seamless gaming and video streaming experiences. Vodafone (29.4 Mbps) maintained a strong second position while Three (34.7 Mbps) and Virgin Media O2 (15.5 Mbps) showed significant improvements in speeds and performance.
Performance by nation
To assess mobile performance across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, RootMetrics conducted comprehensive testing in various areas, including urban centres, rural spaces, and roadways.
EE stood out once again, winning 25 UK Nation RootScore Awards out of 28 opportunities.
Three showed promising results in England, while Virgin Media O2 demonstrated consistency across all four nations. Vodafone saw a substantial increase in its nation-level awards, showcasing significant improvements in call and accessibility performance.
Metro area performance
Mobile connectivity in major metropolitan markets goes beyond city centres and includes suburbs, business districts, and tourist areas.
EE continued to dominate in major cities, securing the most RootScore Awards and providing users with fast speeds and impressive 5G results. Vodafone ranked second in major cities, earning more awards than its competitors and showcasing better 5G performance.
Three’s performance was notable, showing improved speeds and excellent 5G availability and speeds. Virgin Media O2 delivered faster speeds and demonstrated strong text results.
RootMetrics emphasised two pillars of 5G performance: availability and speed.
EE and Three emerged as the top performers in 5G availability, with EE registering over 50 percent 5G availability in major cities.
All four operators exhibited fast 5G median download speeds, with Three leading the pack at 202.2 Mbps.
In terms of reliability and latency, all operators delivered outstanding results on 5G networks.
EE remains the dominant player, securing numerous awards and providing fast and reliable mobile experiences. However, competitors like Three, Virgin Media O2, and Vodafone have made considerable progress, ensuring a more competitive landscape.
As the 5G rollout in the UK progresses, consumers can look forward to enhanced availability and speed, further improvements in network performance, and an overall more satisfactory mobile experience.
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