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OpenSignal – EE Best for UK 4G and 3G Mobile Speed, Availability and Latency

Friday, April 21st, 2017 (11:23 am) - Score 3,696

The latest April 2017 report from OpenSignal, which harnessed crowd-sourced data from 30,793 Smartphone users (535 million tests) to reveal how 4G and 3G based Mobile network availability and data speeds vary across the United Kingdom, has seen EE come top in almost every category.

The ‘State of Mobile Networks’ report found that over the past 6 months all four primary Mobile Network Operators (EE, Three UK, Vodafone and O2) have seen a 5% or better jump in their 4G (LTE) network availability scores, with EE becoming the first to achieve an availability score of over 70% (Vodafone and O2 are only a percentage point or two behind).

OpenSignal Statement

“Our results in this report clearly show most UK operators are starting to take the availability part of the LTE network equation seriously. In our last State of LTE report published in November, we measured the average 4G availability for U.K. smartphone users at 58%. Three of the U.K.’s four major operators are now well beyond that benchmark.

There are still plenty of countries that offer much more consistent access to LTE signals than the U.K., but U.K. operators are making big improvements in a relatively short amount of time.”

We’ve written up a summary of the results below. However I should point out that Three UK’s “all-you-can-eat” data plans mean that their customers tend to be more data hungry and their network may thus suffer a higher level of congestion, which isn’t helped by the fact that they currently own significantly less radio spectrum than the other operators.

By comparison EE (BT) owns more spectrum than any other operator and their Mobile Broadband (data) packages are capped, not to mention that their 4G network coverage is currently much wider than the others. All of this plays into the outcome below, although Three UK did win one for 3G based download speeds.

April 2017 Mobile Performance Results – United Kingdom

Network Availability: 4G
1. EE 72.44%
2. O2 68.98%
3. Vodafone 67.73%
4. Three UK 49.86%

Download Speed: 4G
1. EE 31.77Mbps
2. Three UK 23.04Mbps
3. Vodafone 18.17Mbps
4. O2 15.42Mbps

Download Speed: 3G
1. Three UK 6.50Mbps
2. EE 5.98Mbps
3. Vodafone 4.76Mbps
4. O2 4.32Mbps

Latency: 4G (Milliseconds – lower is better)
1. EE 42.17ms
2. Vodafone 44.53ms
3. O2 44.56ms
4. Three UK 48.68ms

Latency: 3G (Milliseconds – lower is better)
1. EE 77.33ms
2. Vodafone 80.75ms
3. Three UK 81.90ms
4. O2 93.02ms

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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