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nPerf Names Three UK Fastest Mobile Network in 2024 Benchmark

Thursday, Feb 15th, 2024 (11:49 am) - Score 3,520
Fast search engine on smartphone

Benchmarking firm nPerf has today published the results from their annual 2024 crowdsourced study into UK mobile broadband (4G, 5G) performance, which once again sees Three UK being named as the country’s best and fastest operator for mobile internet performance. The runner-up was once again EE (BT), followed by Vodafone and then O2 (VMO2)

The latest nPerf study is based on thousands of tests carried out – between January and December 2023 – exclusively by end-customers of the various mobile network operators, using tools on both nPerf’s website and via dedicated mobile apps. The results are said to reflect the “real experience of the general public in the United Kingdom”.

However, 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.


Overall, Three UK came top for mobile broadband download speeds, upload speeds, web browsing performance and YouTube video streaming, although surprisingly O2 managed to beat them for latency performance. But the study also includes a breakdown of the results for 5G-only connections, which shows Three UK sweeping all of the categories.



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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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24 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

    When it’s working that is….

    1. Avatar photo Sam P says:

      I just got myself a second SIM on Vodafone as backup for when Three goes down next lol

  2. Avatar photo Matt says:

    Do O2 connect their cells using VDSL? 😀

    Those are some appalling results for them

    1. Avatar photo Sam P says:

      In all seriousness: Probably

    2. Avatar photo Blake Turner says:

      Their backhaul use Virgin Media infrastructure. But then having said that so do Three and Vodafone and they don’t have the same issues that O2 struggle with these days. Only EE don’t use VM but BT, naturally.

  3. Avatar photo ioio says:

    I’ve never seen nPerf test getting more than 80% of my max up and down bandwidth very often fluctuating their test servers must have very poor internet uplinks. I don’t have this issue while using iperf or speedtest. Almost 100% of my traffic goes via LiNX or LonAp.

    1. Avatar photo Phil L says:

      nPerf gets full line speed for me (940Mbit/sec) but only to certain servers. For example going to Gravelines (in France) or Erith 10Gb/s test servers always gets me full speed tests, but London DataPacket 10Gb/s server is around 300-400 Meg. So this is showing links from the ISP to those particular servers are not fast or over subscribed.

  4. Avatar photo Ben says:

    Would this be the same nperf who claim that BT / EE / Plusnet FTTH offers an average upload speed of 183.75Mb? Not sure how trustworthy the data is…


    1. Avatar photo Sam P says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but the full report says the average upload speed with BT/EE/Plusnet is “54.67 Mb/s”. The 183mbps must be a typo.

    2. Avatar photo Ben says:

      54.67 is the figure for all (FTTH, FTTC, and ADSL) connections.

  5. Avatar photo Andre says:

    Three the best mobile operator “best joke of the year “ that’s prove how BS is this website

    1. Avatar photo Sam P says:

      It says fastest – not best. Which indeed they are actually the fastest statistically and factually speaking.

    2. Avatar photo Jjj says:

      Err try three on 4g absolutely pathetic speeds.

    3. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Andre, it’s nPerf’s study, not ours. In fairness, Ookla also tends to reach a similar sort of result, and these are tests conducted with tens to hundreds of thousands of UK users. Naturally, every individual will have a different experience, particularly on a variable platform like mobile, but this is much wider than a single person’s experience.

  6. Avatar photo New_Londoner says:

    The main issue that I have with this report, other than those already identified by MarkJ, is that it fails to take into account service availability. For example, Three comes out strongest on 5G but is it as widely available as EE and Vodafone? The same caveat applies to all of the mobile networks.

    IMO some sort of weighting for network availability would be beneficial.

    1. Avatar photo Elixier22 says:

      I travel up and down the country constantly drive over 100,000 miles a year and I can honestly say hands-on-harp that Vodafone have some really bad 5G. I mean it is a bad when you’re connected to it but the thing is I don’t seem to have any 5g anywhere. I was recently in Rochdale Manchester and I didn’t get 5G on Vodafone hardly anywhere around the area. I got it on EE and 3. Vodafone and O2 are really falling behind and honestly I’m really surprised because Vodafone used to be one of the best if not the best shocking how bad they’ve become. EE are so far ahead of all the competition it’s not even funny but yes I agree 3 do have extremely fast 5G when you get it but it’s still not as widely available as EE not by a long shot.

  7. Avatar photo Jason says:

    Three is definitely the best option in Leeds… Getting super good speeds here and almost full 5G coverage

  8. Avatar photo Furious says:

    I cant wait to get those speeds on Three. There is a Three monopole supposed to be built near me but after looking for info theyre only going to dig the ground up. Anyway whilst looking for info on monopoles going up locally, I found this..

    Installation of smart water meter equipment comprising of 12m high monopole with GPS and Omni antennas on top reaching a maximum height of 13.83m along with cabinet at ground level (prior approval).

    So are water suppliers building a network of monopoles?

  9. Avatar photo Martyn says:

    The latest dose of BS to arrive in my inbox from 3uk in response to a complaint was that my area would receive 5G from the local site at 47mtrs agl THIS MONTH (Feb)
    I’m getting sick and tired of hearing about 5G, just give us LTE at speeds like this and I doubt many would complain.


  10. Avatar photo Dave says:

    Three paid for the Science behind this. They are not the fastest nor are they a reliable network with regular outages and an engineering team that screw up consistently and deny all.

    Three are a disastrous network provider. Third network outage in two weeks.

    For Home 4G customers Three have also blocking a number of services on their 3internet APN since October 2023 – during the switch to IPv6 for 4G Home Broadband customers Three have made a number of configuration errors that they are refusing to acknowledge and their engineers will only agree to look into once enough complaints have been made online. I have had no access to Internet banking, Spotify and my children have rarely gained access to Roblox with consistent errors and disconnects and logging into EA gaming services have been non existent of server errors and disconnects – This is Three standard practice judging from historical issues – e.g. over a month long Xbox live and GamePass download block which Three Tech support and engineers denied and blamed Microsoft until week three of the debacle – which Three eventually admitted was an error on their side.

    Not only this but they are now denying their customers, such as myself access to advanced features in their home B535 routers, such as adding my VPN to the router which would allow me to temporarily workaround Three’s calamity.

    The only option is to change your APN to three.co.uk – this will give power back over router settings and full access to the internet but we should not have to change our APNs as a backup because the primary Home Broadband APN is unusable due to mismanagement.

  11. Avatar photo David says:

    Three have been great for me, I switched to them for 5g home internet 2yrs ago and due to commit to another 2. I consistently get 300-500mb.

  12. Avatar photo KevinLevin says:

    The craftsmanship of the Beth Dutton purse is impeccable. It’s obvious that a lot of care went into making it.
    Visit: beth dutton’s purse

  13. Avatar photo None says:

    How much have they paid to get that? They rarely have signal, many times a day there’s no signal or no internet. This has been going on for at least the past year. If this is the best … well done

Comments are closed

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