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UK Mobile Operators Fail to Win Any Awards in Global 5G Study UPDATE

Tuesday, Oct 17th, 2023 (9:01 am) - Score 2,760

Crowdsourced mobile benchmarking firm Opensignal will today publish their annual 5G Global Mobile Network Experience Awards 2023 report, which examines the performance of 5G using mobile operators across the world and awards those that perform the best. But you won’t find any wins for EE (BT), Three UK (3), Vodafone UK or O2 UK (VMO2).

The study examined various categories, such as 5G based network availability (% time on 5G), download speed, games experience (multiplayer – more latency dependent) and video streaming experience. The results are largely based on data collected from app-based testing by end-users between 1st January and 29th June 2023.

Naturally, there are caveats to this sort of study, such as the fact that app-based crowdsourced data can be impacted by any limitations or locations of the devices or plans being used, which at the same time removes the ability to adopt a common type of hardware and environment to help form a solid baseline.

Some mobile operators will also have better 4G or 5G coverage, lots of spectrum bands and more advanced networks than others. But such caveats exist across all countries. Suffice to say that performance testing like this may not always tell the whole story, although Opensignal are generally one of the better organisations at analysing such data.

The bad news is that none of the United Kingdom’s mobile network operators picked up any awards, although Opensignal was kind enough to help ISPreview clarify just how far back the UK’s operators are across their various award categories. This is because full report we previewed doesn’t include any comparative results for the UK – that’s how far back we are.

The UK’s Position in the 5G Global Mobile Awards

➤ For 5G Video Experience in Group I, 3 and EE share 57th* place. Vodafone and O2 are in 68th* and 77th* place, respectively.

➤ EE is in 44th* place for 5G Games Experience in Group I, 3 and Vodafone are further behind in 66th* place, while O2 is in 74th* place.

➤ For 5G Download Speed in Group I, 3 is in 20th* place, while its rivals are much further behind. EE and Vodafone are in 68th and 69th* place, while O2 is in 77th* place.

➤ 3, EE and Vodafone are all in 48th* place for 5G Availability in Group I, while O2 is further behind in 61st* place. 5G Availability is the proportion of time that Opensignal 5G users spend with an active 5G connection.

➤ In addition, EE, Vodafone, O2 and 3 have not placed in the top 15 for percentage improvement in either 5G Availability, 5G Download Speed or 5G Games Experience across Group I and therefore have not been recognized as 5G Global Rising Stars this time around.

* This rank is also shared by one or more operators from other markets. For brevity, they have not been mentioned, but additional details are available on request.

We’ll add a link to the full report once it’s online.

UPDATE 10:25am

The full report is now online.

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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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16 Responses
  1. Avatar photo ramzez says:

    no surprises here

    1. Avatar photo AndyK says:

      Comforting to see O2 at the bottom of every leaderboard as usual! And, as usual, the UK far and away horrendously behind on critical infrastructure. It’s a wonder Rishi hasn’t carried on his little 4-year old strop and banned 5G rollout!

    2. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      Good. Not one of them deserve an award.

  2. Avatar photo Ian Cunningham says:

    Doesn’t surprise me. My EE 5G signal strength and data speeds have dropped significantly over the past few months. In many cases I end up turning off 5G to get better speeds through 4G. Other times 5G just disappears. If I report it as a fault all I get is ‘there are no known faults in your area’ and this is across 2 areas 9 miles apart.

    1. Avatar photo Cheesemp says:

      Isn’t that the truth! I have to disable it to get a usable signal at work. 4G works far better! Its even worse at home where 3G is better than 4G (that’s urban!).

    2. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      I know a few people in different parts of the country that have to turn 5G off on their phones to get a decent signal, but some say it is turned back on, not sure how that happens, but then I suppose they have a contract phone, so providers have more control over it.
      I am glad I don’t have a 5G phone, not planning on having one either.

  3. Avatar photo Dave says:

    Well well well. Britain, the global powerhouse, the cutting edge of the world couldn’t lead a horse to water. Hilarious!

  4. Avatar photo Jack says:

    Problem in the UK is the networks never buy sufficient backhaul unless it’s at famous landmarks but even then so many people in the location lowers the speed

    1. Avatar photo Jammie says:

      I don’t it’s just a backhaul issue, as there has been a lot of investment from both the U.K government and private entities that have implemented a lot of new fibreoptic in the ground.

      I think it’s number of things, for example building infrastructure popping up has causes signal blocking issues and equipment change over or lack of equipment upgrade from certain networks that are causing the stagnation of driving the 5G movement forward.

    2. Avatar photo Buggerlugz says:

      I agree Jack. They’ll sell SIM’s till the cows come home knowing damn well they’ll saturate area’s where people live and do absolutely nothing to provide better backhaul provision to existing masts.

    3. Avatar photo Mike says:

      The Huawei ban set the UK back a bit and cost the networks a lot of money and then there is the spectrum license fees which discourage investing beyond the bare minimum.

  5. Avatar photo Jax says:

    This is just for mobile? What are the figures for 5G Home Broadband?

    1. Avatar photo MikeP says:

      It uses the same infrastructure.

  6. Avatar photo Richard Branston says:

    This report doesn’t really tell us anything other than it’s easier to build / deploy 5G infrastructure in other countries.

    As an example – H3G / Three have had 19 out of their last 21 planning applications for new 5G monopoles rejected.

  7. Avatar photo Kel says:

    Hardly surprising..

    Can’t lay the whole blame with the operators, everybody wants 5G, as long as there are no towers in their neighbourhood.. and it only takes a small number of objections, to ruin it for the whole area.

    1. Avatar photo Jon says:

      I’m not sure everyone “wants” 5G – everyone wants better mobile data, and the marketers would have you believe this needs 5G.. 4G is quite capable.
      But yes, network rollout is heavily affected by planning hold-ups.

Comments are closed

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