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Q1 2019 OpenSignal Report Names EE as Best UK Mobile Operator

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 (9:00 am) - Score 5,591
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Mobile operator EE (BT) has once again come top of the latest Q1 2019 report from OpenSignal, which analysed crowd-sourced data over a 90 day period (starting 1st December 2018) to identify the 4G availability, mobile broadband speeds and latency performance of each UK operator.

The group’s latest ‘Mobile Network Experience Report’ for the United Kingdom gathered data from 260,231 devices (Smartphones etc.), which collected a total of 1,403,138,272 measurements. The results were then processed to reveal how EE, Three UK, O2 and Vodafone compared across the various categories.

Overall EE achieved the best UK 4G network availability of 89% (up from 86.62% last year) and they were followed by O2 on 84% (up only slightly from 83.67%), Vodafone on 83.4% (up from 79.45%) and finally Three UK sat at the bottom of the table with a score of just 76% (up from 66.64%). We note that Three UK has improved a lot since last year.

The rest of the results can be found below and we’ve also added in last year’s results, where applicable (the older results are in brackets).

Q1 2019 vs Q1 2018 UK Mobile Performance

Download Speed: 4G
1. EE 32.5Mbps (29.02Mbps)
2. Vodafone 24.3Mbps (20.07Mbps)
3. Three UK 21.6Mbps (22.55Mbps)
4. O2 15.8Mbps (15.16Mbps)

Upload Speed: 4G
1. EE 10.4Mbps
2. Vodafone 8.5Mbps
3. Three UK 8.3Mbps
4. O2 7.2Mbps

Latency: 4G (Milliseconds – lower is better)
1. EE 37.9ms (40.35ms)
2. O2 39.2ms (42.84ms)
3. Vodafone 41.2ms (40.6ms)
4. Three UK 48.7ms (47.23ms)

As usual there are caveats to this sort of data. For example, some operators have better 4G coverage, lots of spectrum bands and a more advanced network than others (EE). Similarly certain operators may deliver slower speeds because they suffer more strain on their capacity (network congestion), partly due to affordable “unlimited” style mobile data plans (e.g. Three UK).

Furthermore app-based crowd-sourced data could also be impacted by any limitations of the devices being used, which at the same time removes the ability to adopt a common type of hardware in order to form a solid baseline of performance. Suffice to say that performance testing like this may not always tell the whole story, but Opensignal are one of the better organisations at analysing such data.

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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.
Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar Michael V

    I let the app collect the maximum amount of data it can, I leave it open in background. I like to contribute to these findings. I find Three has excellent coverage around South East Wales where I live & travelling up to mid west Wales there’s also great coverage groom their 4G voice / VoLTE network. As their 4G data network [like other Operator’s] is patchy. As for speed… We don’t really need more than 20mbps on a phone. So speed isn’t at the top of my list.

  2. Avatar Tony C

    They can tell you anything they want as long as you can’t check all the facts. I’m in Romania right now and with a UK Three SIM card that for some reason only works on 3G in my phone I have way better speed than 4G in UK, and this while is a known fact that Romania is an corupt underdeveloped country. And on a different topic you can buy here a PAYG SIM for 5€ plus VAT and have unlimited 4G internet acces and tethering.

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