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Belfast Named Top of 16 UK Cities for Mobile Network Performance

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 (10:40 am) - Score 950

RootMetrics and IHS Markit have today published the results of a new H1 2018 study into 4G and 3G mobile network operator performance across 16 of the United Kingdom’s “most populated metropolitan markets” (cities), which found that Belfast was the best and London the worst.

The analysis appears to be taken from the same dataset that recently named EE as the best overall mobile operator in the UK (here), which was based off over 593,008 tests that had been conducted using unmodified Samsung Galaxy S8 Smartphones purchased from carrier stores. As part of that the testing team also travelled more than 20,928 miles and visited 654 indoor locations to measure performance.

The rankings are based on an average of the RootScores (i.e. several categories are rated up to a maximum of 100 points) for the four major UK networks (EE, O2, Three UK and Vodafone) in a given metropolitan area, weighted by the estimated national percentage of subscribers for each network.

Overall Belfast offered the best performance (scoring 96.3 out of 100) by ranking 1st in three categories (i.e. overall performance, network reliability and data performance). What’s more, Belfast also ranked 2nd for network speed (mobile broadband) and call performance.

By comparison London, which had the biggest population, came bottom of the pile (scored 92.5 out of 100). The city came bottom in most categories, although Rootmetrics noted how “operator performance in London was generally quite good, [but] the market’s rankings were pulled down by comparatively slow speeds from O2 and relatively high rates of blocked and dropped calls by both O2 and Vodafone.”

Head of Product at RootMetrics and Executive Director of Performance Benchmark at IHS Markit, Kevin Hasley, added: “As the capital city and business epicenter of the UK, you would expect connectivity that is equal to or better than rivals, but that hasn’t been the case to this point. 5G may well be the cure London needs, but currently, performance in other cities like Belfast and Edinburgh has been stronger.”

Overall Performance Scores

Market Population rank Overall score Overall rank
Belfast 15 96.3 1
Edinburgh 12 95.9 2
Sheffield 7 95.6 3
Glasgow 5 95.6 4
Manchester 2 95.5 5
Liverpool 6 95.1 6
Coventry 14 94.8 7
Leicester 13 94.8 8
Nottingham 11 94.6 9
Leeds and Bradford 3 94.5 10
Bristol 9 94.3 11
Newcastle 8 93.9 12
Cardiff 10 93.8 13
Birmingham 4 93.7 14
Hull 16 93.7 15
London 1 92.5 16

Network Reliability Scores

Market Population rank Reliability score Reliability rank
Belfast 15 98.7 1
Manchester 2 98.6 2
Edinburgh 12 98.3 3
Sheffield 7 98.1 4
Glasgow 5 98.1 5
Coventry 14 97.8 6
Liverpool 6 97.7 7
Bristol 9 97.4 8
Leeds and Bradford 3 97.3 9
Nottingham 11 97.1 10
Leicester 13 97.1 11
Birmingham 4 97.0 12
Hull 16 97.0 13
Newcastle 8 96.8 14
Cardiff 10 96.7 15
London 1 96.4 16

Service Speed Scores

Market Population rank Speed score Speed rank
Leicester 13 88.6 1
Belfast 15 88.5 2
Edinburgh 12 88.4 3
Sheffield 7 88.3 4
Nottingham 11 87.6 5
Glasgow 5 87.5 6
Liverpool 6 86.6 7
Leeds and Bradford 3 86.3 8
Newcastle 8 86.0 9
Coventry 14 85.7 10
Cardiff 10 84.9 11
Manchester 2 84.7 12
Hull 16 83.9 13
Bristol 9 83.6 14
Birmingham 4 83.4 15
London 1 80.2 16

Data Performance Scores

Market Population rank Data score Data rank
Belfast 15 95.0 1
Sheffield 7 95.0 2
Edinburgh 12 94.9 3
Leicester 13 94.5 4
Glasgow 5 94.3 5
Nottingham 11 94.1 6
Leeds and Bradford 3 93.8 7
Liverpool 6 93.7 8
Newcastle 8 93.5 9
Coventry 14 93.5 10
Manchester 2 93.1 11
Cardiff 10 92.7 12
Hull 16 92.5 13
Birmingham 4 92.2 14
Bristol 9 91.9 15
London 1 90.8 16

Call Performance Scores

Market Population rank Call score Call rank
Manchester 2 98.5 1
Belfast 15 97.7 2
Bristol 9 97.2 3
Edinburgh 12 96.9 4
Glasgow 5 96.9 5
Liverpool 6 96.6 6
Coventry 14 96.2 7
Sheffield 7 96.0 8
Birmingham 4 95.3 9
Nottingham 11 94.9 10
Hull 16 94.8 11
Leeds and Bradford 3 94.8 12
Leicester 13 94.7 13
Cardiff 10 94.7 14
London 1 94.1 15
Newcastle 8 93.9 16

Text Performance Scores

Market Population rank Text score Text rank
Manchester 2 99.2 1
Sheffield 7 99.0 2
Liverpool 6 98.9 3
Coventry 14 98.7 4
Birmingham 4 98.6 5
Glasgow 5 98.6 6
Leicester 13 98.6 7
Edinburgh 12 98.6 8
Leeds and Bradford 3 98.6 9
Cardiff 10 98.4 10
Belfast 15 98.4 11
Newcastle 8 98.3 12
Nottingham 11 98.3 13
Bristol 9 98.3 14
London 1 98.3 15
Hull 16 98.1 16

The full report can be read here.

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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.
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