By Ryan Daws
Mobile network performance measurement firm RootMetrics has named EE the UK’s leader for the ninth year running.
Overall, EE came out on top for all UK-wide RootScore categories (‘Reliability’, ‘Accessibility’, ‘Speed’, ‘Data’, ‘Call’, and ‘Text’).
CEO of the consumer division at EE-owner BT, Marc Allera said: “We are proud to be named the UK’s best network for the ninth year running. Reliability is of huge importance to our customers, and we pride ourselves on leading the industry.
I’m delighted to see the huge investments we make recognised once again and we will continue to expand the UK’s leading 4G and 5G networks across the nation.”
Earlier this year, EE became the first UK operator to exceed 50 per cent population coverage with its 5G network.
While the maturity of 4G networks across the country means there are now relatively negligible differences between operators on that front, it’s still all to play for when it comes to 5G.
RootMetrics highlights that Three, in particular, is providing serious competition to EE in the 5G arena.
Three edged ahead of EE in 5G median download speeds, clocking in at nearly 200 Mbps compared to EE’s 150 Mbps. However, EE’s 5G network led in fifth percentile speeds—an important measure of an operator’s overall speed consistency.
The GSMA says that each operator should have at least 80-100 MHz of contiguous spectrum for 5G. Three is the only UK operator with 100MHz of contiguous spectrum which has led it to make those controversial claims in marketing campaigns that it’s the only operator to offer “real 5G”.
On Three’s claims, UK telecoms regulator Ofcom assessed that “while all other things being equal Three might be able to offer higher peak speeds than other operators, they would be achievable only in certain ideal conditions and would rarely be experienced by consumers everywhere in a mature 5G network.”
RootMetrics’ tests appear to back Ofcom’s assessment.
Across the 16 metropolitan areas, RootMetrics says that Three delivered “significant gains” in 5G download speeds. Not to leave the other two major operators out, RootMetrics highlights that both Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone appear to be utilising their newly-acquired spectrum to boost 5G availability and speeds.
EE won 25 out of a possible 28 awards for nation-specific categories and had the fastest aggregate median download speed in each of the four UK nations. Three was noted as performing “especially well” in Wales, sharing the Call RootScore Award and posting second-place finishes for both reliability and text performance in the country.