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Q1 2020 Opensignal Study Names EE as Best UK Mobile Network

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 (1:42 pm) - Score 2,743

Mobile operator EE (BT) has predictably topped the latest Q1 2020 report from Opensignal, which analysed crowd-sourced data over a 90 day period (starting 1st December 2019) to identify operators with the best UK 3G, 4G and 5G availability, mobile broadband speed and latency performance etc.

The group’s latest ‘Mobile Network Experience Report’ for the United Kingdom gathered data from a total of 524,487 devices (Smartphones etc.) and collected 2,168,000,452 measurements, which is almost double what they did this time last year. 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 94.8% (up from 89% last year) and they were followed by O2 on 89.2% (up from 84%), Vodafone on 88% (up from 83.4%) and finally Three UK sat at the bottom of the table with a score of just 80% (up from 76%). Sadly there’s no score for 5G availability this time, although it would be very low due to the limited deployment and thus take-up of such networks.

The rest of the results can be found below and we’ve mostly focused upon the key data performance categories. We’ve also added in last year’s results (shown in brackets).

UK Mobile Performance – Q1 2020 vs Q1 2019

Download Speed: 4G
1. EE 35.9Mbps (32.5Mbps)
2. Vodafone 25.4Mbps (24.3Mbps)
3. Three UK 22.4Mbps (21.6Mbps)
4. O2 18Mbps (15.8Mbps)

Upload Speed: 4G
1. EE 10.2Mbps (10.4Mbps)
2. Vodafone 9.1Mbps (8.5Mbps)
3. Three UK 8.2Mbps (8.3Mbps)
4. O2 6.4Mbps (7.2Mbps)

Latency: 4G (Milliseconds – lower is better)
1. EE 36ms (37.9ms)
2. O2 38.1ms (39.2ms)
3. Vodafone 39ms (41.2ms)
4. Three UK 48.3ms (48.7ms)

As usual there are caveats to this sort of data. For example, some operators have better 4G coverage, lots of spectrum bands and more advanced networks than others. Furthermore app-based crowd-sourced data could also be impacted by any limitations or locations of the devices being used, which at the same time removes the ability to adopt a common type of hardware and environment in order to form a solid baseline for testing.

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. Still we wish they would have split out some results from the early 5G networks.

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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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3 Responses
  1. Avatar Michael V

    I don’t think we should be looking at 5G-NR comparisons from opensignal or rootmetrics yet until end of year. It’s only been months since O2, Voda, Three have launched their networks. I think they need time to expand more.

    I do let Opensignal run in the background & collect the maximum amount of data in can. I’m never without coverage around south Wales with Three & what’s mostly important to any consumer is how good their Operator is where they live & travel.

    Unfortunately not all antennas in phones are made equal, a Samsung may report poor 4G but a Huawei may show excellent levels.

  2. Avatar Richard Plank

    Dont know were they get best around ee I’m with them and I’m not staying with them most of the time at 8PM or so I can only run 1 thing as it stops most of the time

  3. Avatar Timeless

    best network? ld have to disagree, my sister had a freebie tablet from them before they changed to EE which she cancelled the contract of, about 2 years ago they suddenly restarted the contract for it out of the blue and once she realised she had a strongly worded phone call with EE who flat out refused to refund her she she demanded her contract be terminated which they refused to do meaning she had to pay £100 to get out of it (she is still talking with trading standards etc in order to get advice to get a refund, but with recent events its causing some issues, she moved to another network but EE has been abysmal with their money grubbing attitude.

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