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The Top 16 UK Cities for 4G Mobile Broadband Speeds by Operator – H2 2016

Thursday, February 16th, 2017 (10:38 am) by Mark Jackson (Score 814)
mobile mast in a city uk at dusk

Earlier this week RootMetrics revealed their latest H2 2016 report into the performance of 4G Mobile operators (Three UK, O2, Vodafone and EE (BT)) across sixteen of the United Kingdom’s major cities. Today we’re able to publish a detailed table of the Mobile Broadband results (speeds).

Overall the study found that about 7 million more UK people had access to 4G at the end of 2016 than a year earlier (i.e. a total of 54 million people can connect to a 4G mobile service) and general mobile reliability has also improved by 8%. The RootMetrics report is based on data collected from 805,277 samples during the second half of 2016, which also included driving 23,984 miles across the UK and conducting tests at 847 indoor locations.

Perhaps unsurprisingly EE secured a “clean sweep” across all RootScore Award categories, given by RootMetrics to the best performer in each category. At the UK-wide level, EE claimed every award (Overall, Reliability, Speed, Data, Text, Call) either outright or tied, including winning the Overall Award for each country in the UK.

However today our focus is more on Mobile Broadband speeds and on that front EE was also the only operator to achieve median download speeds of 20Mbps+ (Megabits per second) in all 16 of the tested cities. For example, EE’s performance in London delivered a download rate of 30.5Mbps (median), while in the same city O2 got 10.7Mbps, Three UK achieved 14.7Mbps and Vodafone 14.5Mbps.

In fairness, EE has benefited from a one year head-start on the 4G rollout, which is thanks to being able to harness their existing 1800MHz band (the others had to wait for 800MHz and 2.6GHz). Similarly EE owns more usable mobile spectrum than any other operator, which gives them an advantage in terms of Carrier Aggregation (LTE-Advanced) technology that allows for the use of several bands at once.

Now on to the results.

Operator Metro Median download speed (Mbps) Median Upload speed (Mbps)
EE Belfast, UK 30.2 21.3
EE Birmingham, UK 34.2 19.1
EE Bristol, UK 27.6 14.4
EE Cardiff, UK 22.6 9.7
EE Coventry, UK 27.0 16.6
EE Edinburgh, UK 23.9 12.0
EE Glasgow, UK 24.2 15.2
EE Kingston Upon Hull, UK 26.8 13.4
EE Leeds, UK 27.7 16.7
EE Leicester, UK 23.7 16.1
EE Liverpool, UK 34.5 21.2
EE London, UK 30.5 15.9
EE Manchester, UK 26.3 21.6
EE Newcastle, UK 24.9 10.6
EE Nottingham, UK 26.1 16.8
EE Sheffield, UK 23.0 16.6
O2 Belfast, UK 19.0 13.6
O2 Birmingham, UK 8.4 7.9
O2 Bristol, UK 8.1 6.3
O2 Cardiff, UK 9.5 4.8
O2 Coventry, UK 10.5 5.5
O2 Edinburgh, UK 15.1 11.6
O2 Glasgow, UK 13.7 11.9
O2 Kingston Upon Hull, UK 8.0 5.0
O2 Leeds, UK 13.5 9.4
O2 Leicester, UK 12.7 7.0
O2 Liverpool, UK 10.2 7.6
O2 London, UK 10.7 6.5
O2 Manchester, UK 9.9 11.1
O2 Newcastle, UK 13.7 7.2
O2 Nottingham, UK 12.6 6.7
O2 Sheffield, UK 13.0 9.9
Three Belfast, UK 18.3 5.9
Three Birmingham, UK 14.2 6.6
Three Bristol, UK 16.2 4.4
Three Cardiff, UK 10.4 2.8
Three Coventry, UK 17.0 3.8
Three Edinburgh, UK 15.1 2.9
Three Glasgow, UK 14.6 3.7
Three Kingston Upon Hull, UK 17.0 4.0
Three Leeds, UK 15.7 4.3
Three Leicester, UK 14.8 5.0
Three Liverpool, UK 22.4 6.2
Three London, UK 14.7 5.0
Three Manchester, UK 19.8 6.8
Three Newcastle, UK 13.9 4.3
Three Nottingham, UK 15.4 5.8
Three Sheffield, UK 14.7 4.5
Vodafone Belfast, UK 20.2 11.1
Vodafone Birmingham, UK 16.7 7.1
Vodafone Bristol, UK 10.6 6.3
Vodafone Cardiff, UK 10.0 5.1
Vodafone Coventry, UK 9.9 5.8
Vodafone Edinburgh, UK 14.6 12.5
Vodafone Glasgow, UK 17.7 11.0
Vodafone Kingston Upon Hull, UK 11.3 6.7
Vodafone Leeds, UK 13.4 8.5
Vodafone Leicester, UK 16.2 11.1
Vodafone Liverpool, UK 19.7 7.5
Vodafone London, UK 14.5 7.1
Vodafone Manchester, UK 19.1 11.1
Vodafone Newcastle, UK 13.0 9.8
Vodafone Nottingham, UK 13.2 7.8
Vodafone Sheffield, UK 13.8 10.7
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2 Responses
  1. bob

    And the worse city for any mobile coverage is Canterbury. No indoor coverage in the whole of the city centre.

  2. Hamzah Shakeel

    where can i get my hands on the raw data that is displayed in the table on this page?

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