Rootmetrics has used the results of its network tests to determine which UK cities delivered the best (and worst) 4G speeds, reliability, and overall performance during the first half of 2015. It compared 16 cities in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to find out which city’s residents were getting the best deal from their 4G.
The outright winner for overall performance was Liverpool, followed by Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast, Edinburgh, Coventry, Nottingham, Leicester, London, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds and Bradford, Glasgow, Bristol, Cardiff, and finally Hull. But overall performance was just one of the six categories by which the cities were ranked. Reliability, speed, mobile internet, call quality, and texts were also assessed. Let’s take a look at each of the other five categories in more detail.
Reliability. The top three cities for reliability were found to be Liverpool in first place, Birmingham in second place, and Manchester in third place. The bottom three cities for reliability were Leeds and Bradford, Cardiff, and Hull.
Speed. The top three cities for network speed were found to be Liverpool in first place, Manchester in second place, and Nottingham in third place. The bottom three cities for network speed were Bristol, Cardiff, and Hull.
Mobile internet. The top three cities for mobile internet were found to be Liverpool in first place, Manchester in second place, and Birmingham in third place. The bottom three cities for mobile internet were Bristol, Cardiff, and Hull.
Calls. The top three cities for voice call quality were found to be Birmingham in first place, Liverpool in second place, and Belfast in third place. The bottom three cities for calls were London, Leeds and Bradford, and Hull.
Text. The top three cities for texts were found to be Birmingham in first place, Manchester in second place, and Liverpool in third place. The bottom three cities for texts were Bristol, Cardiff, and Hull.
According to Chris Smith, General Manager Europe at RootMetrics, “Good mobile service is a crucial part of a city’s basic infrastructure. These rankings give a scientific indication of where in the country you are more likely to enjoy reliable mobile performance.”
Liverpool was far and away the winning metro, coming in the top three for every category measured, which is unsurprising as similar results were seen during the first half of 2014. While Birmingham and Manchester were close behind Liverpool, other major cities such as Glasgow and Leeds and Bradford, where population figures and expectations for mobile performance are high, did less well overall. Nottingham deserves special mention for its network speeds, as does Belfast for the quality of its voice calls.
Perhaps surprisingly London faired quite poorly in the mobile performance rankings. The capital city ranked 9th for overall performance and reliability, 7th for network speed, 6th for mobile internet and texts, and a very low 14th for call performance. With a population of almost 12 million, London has a particularly high volume of mobile traffic which may account for these rankings. We’ll take a closer look at the state of 4G in London next week.