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H2 2021 Test of 5G Speed in Coventry, Leeds and Bradford, Nottingham and Sheffield

Thursday, Oct 14th, 2021 (10:56 am) - Score 1,456

Mobile benchmarking firm RootMetrics has today published the first H2 2021 results from their testing of 5G (mobile broadband) networks in the UK cities and towns of Coventry, Leeds and Bradford, Nottingham and Sheffield. EE delivered the fastest speed and availability in most of the locations, but not all.

The company tends to conduct their studies by using 5G Smartphones (e.g. Samsung), which are purchased off the shelf from operator stores. The testing itself is then conducted over a six-month period – during both the day and night – across the locations, while walking and driving around them. Sadly, no data on the testing itself is included to help give context to their results.

The data below also reflects their so-called “Everyday 5G” performance metric, which factors the results recorded on both 5G-only and 5G mixed mode connections. Mixed mode reflects performance from scenarios in which a user switches between 5G and older 4G services during the same data task, an experience that’s quite common.

The RootMetrics data includes 5G availability % (i.e. percentage of time spent on 5G), 5G median download speeds (Mbps) and the overall median download speed (4G + 5G in Mbps) in the last column on the right. Sadly, we get no figures for either upload speeds or latency times.

Overall, EE recorded the best 5G availability in three of the four cities tested, but they were pipped to the post by Three UK in the Leeds and Bradford area. As for 5G speeds, EE came top in two of the cities, but they lost out to Vodafone in Nottingham (167.8Mbps vs 255.8Mbps) and, by a smaller margin, to the same operator in Coventry (148.8Mbps vs 155.1Mbps).


Please remember that Mobile Broadband speeds remain incredibly difficult to pin down due to the highly variable nature of the technology. Users of such services are always moving through different areas (indoor, outdoor, underground etc.), using different devices with different capabilities and the surrounding environment (weather, trees, buildings etc.) is ever changeable.

On top of that, different operators may have different levels of coverage, technologies, backhaul capacity for cell sites and spectrum bands. All of this can impact the service you receive and will vary from location to location.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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8 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Billy Nomates says:

    Personally, I’d rather read the tests by people like JP on this forum instead of what some company that could be paid off says.

    1. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      Hell Billy, if they are paying them off, the companies aren’t exactly shining when it comes to 5G speeds, are they? (more of what 4G should provide, basically.)

  2. Avatar photo Gareth says:

    Didn’t Three make a big deal about how all their shiny new spectrum would mean they would be “3x faster than other networks”?

    1. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      In my experience, Three’s marketing department is a little flaky when it comes to the truth. Three could have all the spectrum in the world for their masts, but it’ll do them no good without enough backhaul to provide for it.

  3. Avatar photo Paul says:

    Always assumed RootMetrics was run by EE !

    I also wanted to know more of 3UK’s “100MHz” 5G, supposedly fastest in the UK.
    Has this been installed anywhere? What is the ARFCN or what kit to we need to try it?
    They keep saying it’s contiguous but OFCOM allocation map didn’t seem to correlate that.

    Also for some DIY RootMetrics, which 5G phones are good for CellMapper ? Doesn’t look like any Apple products work? Damn that locked down radio interface monitoring API !!!

    1. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      Only a matter of time before another company takes that up with OFCOM, isn’t it?

  4. Avatar photo Dave says:

    I’ve only seen 5G pop up since having an iPhone 12 since January on Virgin Mobile (Vodafone), speed tests are pretty unremarkable (30-50), ping somewhat better.

    About 7 years ago I had to rely on tethering my EE 4G phone for about a month due to a phone line issue and I would consistently get 140Mbps which was about 3 times faster than my FTTC provider at the time (when it worked).

    That being said it didn’t feel faster than fixed broadband other than when downloading a large file.

  5. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

    And when the three network “is being used much” it’ll do 1Mbps. Like every evening from my local mast.

Comments are closed

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