5G gains across all four networks, EE top performer

5G, News

  • Assessment by RootMetrics, the mobile network testing provider, found that 5G availability continues to improve  in the UK, with EE, Three, and Virgin Media O2 consistently averaging above 40% for in many of the nation’s largest metropolitan markets
  • EE remains the UK operator to beat, winning the UK Overall RootScore Award for the ninth year running and clocking UK-wide median download speeds twice as fast as its closest rival  
  • Three scoops up more Metro Area RootScore Awards in 2H 2022 thanks to faster speeds and improved reliability

The race for 5G speed was at a deadlock in the second half of last year as all four operators moved at pace to improve 5G availability and speed in cities across the UK, reveals RootMetrics’ latest UK Mobile Performance Review.  

In the second half of 2022, none of the four major UK mobile network operators were given the ‘RootMetrics Fastest 5G experience in the UK’ accolade, with EE and Three both leading in different measures of 5G speeds, making the 5G speed race too close to call. 5G median download speeds were impressive across the board, however, with all four operators typically clocking over 100 Mbps in UK-wide testing. 

Despite missing out on a 5G speed win, EE’s aggregate median download speed of 58.5 Mbps was twice as fast as any rival operator. The second half of 2022 also marked the eleventh consecutive test period in which EE ranked first in the nationwide categories of overall performance, reliability, and speed, as well as data, call, and text performance.

In Metropolitan markets, EE remained the operator to beat with the fastest network in each of the 16 cities that RootMetrics tested. Other operators made big gains in these cities, however, with Three’s median download speeds improving for the fourth straight test period and Vodafone coming second to EE’s tally of 109 Metro Area RootScore awards with 41 awards claimed. 

Other findings of note, as a result of over 600,000 tests conducted across the UK’s four nations and 16 major metropolitan areas, reveal:

    • EE remained a top performer, winning every award outright in UK-wide testing and taking home by far the most nation-level awards. EE also won or shared a remarkable 109 Metro RootScore Awards out of 112 total award chances
    • Three saw a notable improvement in its overall median download speeds (across all network types–not just 5G) in major cities for the fourth straight test period, while delivering the second-fastest aggregate median download speed in England, Scotland, and Wales. Three was also the only network to clock 5G median download speeds over  200 Mbps, and Three hit that mark in over half of the 16 cities tested
    • Vodafone’s 5G availability improved in most of the 16 major metropolitan areas tested but the operator did see speed declines in some of those cities. Despite this, its 5G median download speeds remained above 100 Mbps in the majority of cities tested
    • 5G median download speeds were fast across the board for all four operators in the UK-wide testing—primarily over 100 Mbps—with Three’s 5G median download speed of roughly 200 Mbps topping  EE’s 140 Mbps

RootMetrics’ ‘UK Mobile Performance Review 2H 2022’ can be read in full here.

Chris Price
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