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EE Tops OpenSignal’s 4G UK Mobile Broadband Performance Study

Thursday, December 7th, 2017 (9:18 am) - Score 1,287

Crowd-sourced data experts OpenSignal have just published their Mobile Network performance study for the United Kingdom, which found that EE came top for 4G and 3G download speed and network availability. On the flip side Vodafone delivered the fastest 4G and 3G latency times.

The latest report covers the period from 1st June to 31st August 2017 and includes 51,944 test devices (e.g. Smartphones), which conducted a total of 829,136,423 measurements (e.g. speed tests). In terms of 4G download speed, EE either won outright or tied for first place in all 11 areas, but it’s noted that in this study Three UK was the main challenger (most other surveys show their performance as being much slower).

December 2017 UK Mobile Performance Results

Network Availability: 4G
1. EE 78.46%
2. O2 74.17%
3. Vodafone 71.35%
4. Three UK 57.14%

Download Speed: 4G
1. EE 28.99Mbps
2. Three UK 22.31Mbps
3. Vodafone 18.94Mbps
4. O2 15.06Mbps

Download Speed: 3G
1. EE 6.24Mbps
2. Three UK 6.12Mbps
3. Vodafone 4.98Mbps
4. O2 4.57Mbps

Latency: 4G (Milliseconds – lower is better)
1. Vodafone 43.64ms
2. EE 43.75ms
3. O2 45.38ms
4. Three UK 50.38ms

Latency: 3G (Milliseconds – lower is better)
1. Vodafone 78.27ms
2. EE 81.31ms
3. O2 84.62ms
4. Three UK 88.57ms

It’s worth contrasting this data with a similar report that was published by Tutela (here), which shows some fairly significant differences and that’s despite collecting data using a roughly similar approach. The main difference is that OpenSignal gathers data from a dedicated app, while Tutela collects it by integrating their measurement software into third-part mobile apps.

However both studies tend to give the overall win to EE, although the runners-up seem to be quite different. OpenSignal has also included a breakdown of 4G mobile download speed by region.


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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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8 Responses
  1. Con Bradley

    Funny, I though N Ireland was still part of the U.K.

    • StevenNT

      It’s part of the UK yes, but not part of Great Britain. The bar chart and maps refers to Great Britain. In this case the article calling referring to the UK is incorrect.

    • It’s only the latter chart and map that visually exclude N.Ireland (I don’t know why they did that), while the overall data results and report are said to include N.Ireland. I don’t have a PR contact for OpenSignal and so can’t query why they left N.I out of the illustrations.

    • JustAnotherFileServer

      Surely Mark you can hardly call it “UK Mobile Broadband Performance Table” if two thirds of the information excludes a part of the UK? I think that’s a question for OpenSignal to answer sharpish or at the very least this article should be changed and if OpenSignal don’t like it then they should be told that “In future please make sure you include all information”

  2. AAA

    I recently moved from Three to Vodafone, because:
    1. Three doesn’t work on Stansted Airport. They claim that this is because of security reason (jammer), but unfortunately for them other operators are not jammed. Same problem occurs in crowded places (ie funfair)
    2. In my area (Cambs) there is a permanent network problem after car hit their cabinet, and Three won’t fix it.

    • Stephen Wakeman

      Not entirely sure how your statement is relevant to the article.

      But since you’ve moved, how have you found Vodafone? I had a work phone on them ages ago and didn’t think much of the service. Whenever I’ve looked at their pricing it never comes across as abundantly competitive and they, more than most operators, have been in the public eye for terrible customer service and unfair / incorrect billing and a crap compensation system.

    • AAA

      @Stephen Wakeman
      Much better if it comes to network coverage. I haven’t been on Stansted Airport yet, so can’t tell about signal there. Regarding to price, yes you are right – I found the same, but currently they have 25% discount on sim only offers. For instance 500mins, unlimited texts, 5GB of internet, with roaming included costs 13.50/mo.

  3. Craig

    I am with Virgin which uses EE signal although I’m not sure if they allow Virgin to have the full speeds.

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