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Tutela Name Fastest UK Mobile Broadband Operators for Q4 2017

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018 (9:37 am) - Score 992

Mobile operators EE and Vodafone have top of Tutela Technologies latest crowd-sourced study of Mobile Network Operator (MNO) performance in the United Kingdom for Q4 2017, which focused heavily on 4G and 3G based Mobile Broadband speeds and latency etc.

The research, which is based on data gathered between 1st October and 31st December 2017 (Q4), works by collecting anonymous usage data from the background of 1,500+ supporting Android and iOS based Smartphone apps “without affecting the user experience“. As a result the new report is based on data processed from a total of 48,021,885 records (speed tests etc.), which was collected from around 9,905 unique devices per day.

Overall EE ranks top with the fastest speeds, while Vodafone took 2nd place, O2 came 3rd and Three UK was ranked bottom in 4th position. On the other hand it should be said that Vodafone still delivered the fastest speeds for older 3G connectivity and they also generally delivered the best 3G and 4G latency times (response time between servers), with only minimal packet loss and jitter.

The regional picture is also a bit different from the overall results. For example, O2 was foun to be fastest for 3G networks in Scotland and Northern Ireland, while Vodafone did best in England and Wales. However the picture changes for modern 4G networks, with EE being fastest everywhere except Northern Ireland where Vodafone came top.

tutela_q4_2017_uk_mobile_broadband_performance_awards

The Tutela data is gathered from various Smartphone apps that are coded to conduct background tests on mobile networks, which is arguably a bit different from the dedicated app approach used by organisations like OpenSignal that tend to be better established and recognised.

Nevertheless it is useful to have another data set to play with, although it’s worth noting that all of these companies produce quite different results and that’s largely because mobile networks represent a highly variable environment (signals can be affected by the operator’s available spectrum bands, coverage etc.). Performance can also vary quite a bit because end-users all have different devices and are constantly in motion.

Consumers should also consider that some networks, such as Three UK, may suffer more strain on their data capacity (network congestion) because of affordable “all-you-can-eat” style data plans that mean subscribers on their service may be more data hungry than via other platforms. Suffice to say that speed testing may not always tell the whole story.

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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.
Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Chris says:

    “Consumers should also consider that some networks, such as Three UK, may suffer more strain on their data capacity (network congestion) because of affordable “all-you-can-eat” style data plans that mean subscribers on their service may be more data hungry than via other platforms. Suffice to say that speed testing may not always tell the whole story.”

    Furthermore, 3 have lower overall 4G coverage, plus less spectrum to play with in big cities than EE and Vodafone

    1. Name says:

      Furthermore, Three doesn’t work in crowded places like Cambridge Bonfire or Stansted airport – they tried to persuade me that there must be a jammer installed on Stansted airport. When I told them that unfortunately same jammer won’t affect Vodafone or EE, they offered me £10 refund. Never ever Three.

    2. Matt says:

      Lol ^

  2. Matt says:

    Been flitting between all the networks the past year and can honestly say worst of them all has been O2….

    Three (3) hmm, OK, but as has been said above, it works or doesn’t, don’t seem to be a middle, during the 3 months I was with 3 I missed well over 10 calls, not ideal considering I was out of work, and data would consistently let me down, specially when travelling through city centres or anywhere near a college or university.

    I joined Vodafone with a sim only deal, and to be honest was very impressed and like the fact I got spotify premium thrown in which for me was a saving already being a subscriber.

    I then passed the Vodafone sim over to a family member and went on long term travels for a while, upon returning I tried EE PAYG for a while, and as with Vodafone very impressed, but I already knew EE was good having 2 years prior with them where they blew my mind with impressive speed test results.

    I’m now back with Vodafone on a full blown contract with Samsung Galaxy S8+, extremely impressed, with coverage, speed, quality and features.

    It’s been complete reliable which is what I’d hoped as I’m now using it in my new job and love the 150mb speed tests I can do with it tethered via USB 2.0, I do want to test it with a USB 3.0 device however.

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