The results of the RootMetrics 2nd Half 2014 UK Mobile Network Performance Review are out and EE still leads the way for overall performance among the four 4G network providers, with Three, coming second, and O2 and Vodafone coming third and fourth respectively.
The RootMetrics UK Mobile Network Performance Review is an in-depth report providing performance information at both national and metro level to help consumers find the best 4G network for them. The review looks at six different categories: overall performance, call performance, mobile internet performance, reliability, speed index, and text performance. The results are derived from a million tests in the 16 most populous metros, across all four UK nations, including 1,200 indoor locations.
With the results of the review showing that the gaps between the different networks are narrowing, let’s take a look at what the review had to say about each of the 4G networks in turn:
The EE 4G Network
EE retained its lead coming top in all six categories. Five were won outright, with EE tying for first place with Three in the category of reliability. As the first network to roll out 4G EE has always had a head start. While its lead is eroding slightly at metro level, it still remains by far the fastest network at national level. EE has recently added carrier aggregation to its network which is likely to result in even faster speeds.
The Three 4G Network
Three is now EE’s closest rival and came second in five categories, tying for first place with EE in network reliability. The biggest improvement from Three came in call performance where it moved from last place in the previous RootMetrics review to joint second with O2 in the current review. This huge improvement in a short period of time indicates Three’s potential to rival EE in the future. Three’s network speeds at national level were also thought to be particularly impressive given that the network has a smaller 4G footprint than the other three networks.
The O2 4G Network
O2 finished slightly ahead of Vodafone in overall performance, taking third place, but throughout the review the two networks were fairly evenly matched. Again call performance was a strong category, with O2 tying for second place with Three. O2 also came third in network reliability and tied with Vodafone for third place in text performance. The network is in the midst of an aggressive 4G rollout programme so it will be interesting to see how this changes its scores moving forward.
The Vodafone 4G Network
Vodafone fared worst of all the 4G networks, coming fourth for overall performance. However there were some bright spots as the third place finishes for both the network speed and mobile internet performance categories signalled an improvement from the last report. While Vodafone is having some call performance issues these could be a short term result of its network upgrade as the network is also aggressively upgrading its 4G footprint.
RootMetrics added this important takeaway to its report:
“The networks are getting better, period. We saw improvements across the board in speed, mobile internet performance, and network reliability. Call performance also was better, with the exception of a slight dip in Vodafone’s blocked call rates. Even that dip, as we explain within this report, could be temporary. In short, performance is trending in a positive direction, and consumers should benefit from the changes.”