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nPerf Rank Three UK Top in 2023 Benchmark of Mobile Networks

Monday, Jul 31st, 2023 (11:12 am) - Score 1,832
Hand holding smartphone with speed test on screen.

Benchmarking firm nPerf has just published the results from their annual 2023 crowdsourced study into UK mobile broadband (4G, 5G) performance, which sees Three UK taking the crown of best mobile network operator from EE (BT) for the first time. On the flip side, O2 (VMO2) came last, which is becoming somewhat of a trend.

The results are based off 98,072 connection tests (down from 126,479 last year) conducted between 1st July 2022 and 30th June 2023 (including download / upload speeds, latency, web browsing and streaming tests etc.), which were made via their dedicated mobile app (iOS, Android). The data was then aggregated to establish a performance benchmark.

The nPerf score aims to reflect the actual customer experience of each operator as closely as possible. As usual, there are caveats to this sort of data, such as the fact that it could be impacted by any limitations of the devices being used, and it hampers the ability to adopt a common type of hardware in order to establish a solid baseline of performance. But those caveats are shared by all operators in the study.


Back in 2020 it was Vodafone that secured the highest score in this study, although in 2021 it was EE that took the win and this continued into 2022. But last year’s study also indicated that Three UK was beginning to threaten EE’s position, and this year has seen them take the top spot for the first time with 89,037 nPoints (EE scored 85,690, while Vodafone got 74,673 and O2 came last on 63,506).


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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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9 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Matt says:

    Three has improved a lot around here. It’s just a shame there are still areas like London where capacity can be an issue.

  2. Avatar photo _ says:

    This really doesn’t surprise me.

    Two years ago three struggled to send data either way in my local area. Now they’ve deployed 140Mhz of n78 5G and added L14 + L28 + L21 on a wide selection of sites. Speeds have gone from 1Mb down and 0.5Mb up to over 500Mb down and 70Mb up.

    However, Three need to manage this and ensure it doesn’t get over sold. They can’t go back to over saturating the network with data heavy users for next to no monthly fee again.

  3. Avatar photo AD says:

    Three might be the fastest, but they still can’t beat EE in terms of reliability and consistency.

    Capacity issues are a major issue in big cities

    1. Avatar photo EE v Three says:

      Agree about EE always the best

    2. Avatar photo Anuraj Nadarajah says:

      EE is very good for coverage and speed both 4g and 5g. I left year ago because of voice calls quality.

      I had I phone and android and travel around cities.

  4. Avatar photo Jim says:

    Three’s fancy new monopoles are doing wonders for their speeds in areas lucky enough to get them. Venture far from this part of their network and it’s a completely different story.

    Let’s hope they continue pressing on with their expansion and fixing capacity issues.

  5. Avatar photo Mark says:

    The problem I find with Three is I go to places that claim I have full signal yet the data just doesn’t work! I was getting less than 1Mb the other day despite having full 5G signal!! Their backhaul capacity is just non-existent in built up areas!

  6. Avatar photo Useless Three says:

    Hard to believe Three won this! I’m currently having to use a hotels 0.5Mb WiFi network because my unlimited Three service isn’t working at all despite having full signal! Their network in built-up areas is an absolute joke!

  7. Avatar photo Mahir Khan says:

    I think three will beat ee in the future in my city (cambridge) three is overall the fastest and best then ee then o2 and lastly vodafone who doesnt offer 5g at all in the whole city. i have used all 4 networks and in conclusion three is just the fastest offering me upto 900 mbps then ee upto 100mbps on 5g and when i visit other cities three works well.

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