Operator scores 97 per cent for calls connected successfully across the UK, but more calls connected in urban areas on O2’s network
EE achieved the highest call quality scores of all four networks in the second half of last year with 97 per cent connected.
This is according to research on mobile phone call quality from Ofcom, which used data from RootMetrics, which measures network performance on mobile handsets.
According to the data, EE topped the charts, with 95.3 per cent of calls connected successfully on O2, 94.5 per cent on Three and 92.6 per cent on Vodafone.
O2 finished top for calls connected successfully in urban areas, with a score of 97.5 per cent. EE was next with 97.5 per cent, followed by Three (96 per cent) and Vodafone (95.3 per cent).
The data also showed that 93.7 per cent of calls made on the EE network in rural areas connected successfully. O2 scored 87.4 per cent, Three 86 per cent and Vodafone 79.9 per cent.
An EE spokesperson said: “It’s great to see our ongoing investment in phone calls reflected in Ofcom’s report, confirming that we continue to provide the best call experience across the UK, particularly in rural areas. We’re investing hundreds of millions each year in expanding the reach of our network so that more people can make phone calls in more places.”
Testing was conducted over 114 different days. More than 35,000km of roads and motorways in, around and between large cities and small villages were driven and tested. Tests were performed in more than 1,000 different locations and in total, more than 28,000 calls were placed on each network.
Ofcom surveyed 1,509 consumers in March that found while overall levels of consumer satisfaction with mobile networks are high (76 per cent), it varied by location. Some 78 pr cent in urban areas were satisfied with their mobile network, compared to 67 per cent in rural parts and 70 per cent in remote areas.
More than half (55 per cent) said they never or hardly ever had to put up with no mobile signal or reception, while nearly a third (30 per cent) said they suffered such problems at least every week.
The majority said they never or hardly ever had a blocked call (69 per cent) or dropped call (65 per cent). However, a fifth said they had experienced blocked calls and dropped calls (22 per cent) at least once a week.
The telecoms regulator said the research is part of a plan to help support initiatives to improve mobile coverage in the UK, and provide customers with information on mobile reception.
It added the information helps promote competition between mobile operators on service quality, with Ofcom continuing to monitor and report on how service quality develops over time.
All four networks are working with it to develop a common methodology for measuring the rates of calls successfully completed on their network, with all now meeting the 90 per cent coverage obligations for 3G mobile.
Later this year, Ofcom will publish research comparing 3G and 4G mobile broadband speeds, following detailed testing across five as yet unnamed UK cities.