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EE Comes Top Again of Umlauts 2021 UK Mobile Network Test

Tuesday, December 14th, 2021 (10:58 am) - Score 3,120
Umlaut-uk-mobile-testing-map-2021

Mobile operator EE (BT) has once again come top in umlaut‘s latest annual 2021 UK Mobile Network Test, which used a range of different benchmarks to test 4G (voice and data / broadband) and 5G service performance across 19 cities, 46 towns and along 10,000km of major roads. But Vodafone weren’t far behind.

Both of the study’s drivetests and walktests were conducted between 25th October 25th and 15th November 2021 using a Samsung Galaxy S21+ Smartphone for each operator. Additionally, some of the walk test teams visited several cities and travelled on trains between them. The test area accounts for 17.3 million people, or approximately 26% of the total population of the United Kingdom.

On top of that umlaut also harnessed crowdsourced data, which was collected over 24 weeks from the end of May to early November 2021. A total of 672,600 mobile phone users in the UK provided relevant samples to their crowd data, which stems from tests conducted via various Smartphone apps with a special background diagnosis process.

The drive and walk tests produced around 371,144 data and 252,804 voice samples. By comparison, their crowd-sourced testing involved 2.7 billion test samples.

Results of the 2021 UK Mobile Test

Overall, EE came top in both the data and crowd categories, while Vodafone did the best for voice services. Put another way, EE scored 864 out of 1,000 points, while Vodafone got 820, Three UK came third with 739 and O2 (VMO2) sat at the bottom again on just 715 points.

umlaut_uk_mobile_network_study_2021

Hakan Ekmen, CEO umlaut telecommunications, said:

“Congratulations to EE for winning the umlaut connect Mobile Benchmark in the UK for the seventh time in a row. We would also like to recognize Vodafone for offering the best voice service, Three for the highest score increase, and O2 for its improvements in Voice and Data compared to our previous benchmarks.”

We’ve posted some raw scores and statistics below for data performance from cities and towns, including mobile broadband speeds, although we’ve excluded the voice results since most operators delivered very good voice quality and thus this aspect of service is less of a problem area than broadband performance and availability. Sadly, the benchmark’s focus on urban areas means we don’t really get a proper picture of rural performance.

umlaut-uk-mobile-network-study-statistics-broadband-2021

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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
7 Responses
  1. James says:

    So much of the eastern side missing from this testing!

  2. Jammie1408 says:

    I’ve done my own test’s and when it came to network speeds and 5G coverage, Three came top, then vodafone, EE & 02.

    I found umlaut test inaccurate.

  3. Daniel says:

    This makes me regret switching to o2. I wonder why so many people are on it?

    1. Leave a Reply says:

      Well, these tests are worth shit. All depends on where you actually live and how often you are in crowded places like for instance airports, funfairs etc. I found Three most unreliable in crowded places and in not so rural areas. I’ve seen my Three mast from my window while I wasn’t able to open a simple website or send or receive a text. I wasn’t able to make a call while waiting for someone in Stansted Airport (network busy!). I’ve never had this issues in Vodafone or O2. I’ve moved to O2 from Vodafone only because mobile internet speed has dropped to 1-2Mbps in my area while on O2 I have 40-60Mbps.

  4. Jason says:

    Vodafone is by far the worst! EE is good and so is three

    1. Mark says:

      I’d agree, how VF keep doing so well I’ll never know. Presumably they don’t test in a LOT of areas where VF is B20 only with swamped 4G (no data) or 1Mbps 3G!!

  5. Mark says:

    I find it quite laughable that VF keep doing fairly well in these tests. It is well known that they still have loads of cr@ppy 3G in rural locations and 4G which is mainly B20 which is always swamped. Every time this is raised with them, they claim there is no issue. The throughput speeds and pings are totally rubbish. But they keep getting away with it, no sign of rural upgrades, slow to unwind from O2 sites and focusing too much on 5G/cities (as usual). EE have far too little B20 deployed and they want to use 700MHz for 5G and not 4G! Three are going full steam ahead with using 700MHz for 4G in a lot of places and from what I’ve seen, catching up but still too little B20/4G

    The worst issue is town planners. When are they going to stop blocking the sh!t out of all monopole applications as a few NIMBYs or conspiracy theorists object!

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