EE retains top spot overall but Three ties with it for reliability and comes close second in all other categories
EE has retained top spot in the latest study from benchmark analysts RootMetrics, topping all six categories in the second half 2014 mobile performance test.
Three was runner-up overall, coming joint first for reliability and second in all other categories. This included call quality, where it had came last during the last RootMetrics results in August. It increased its overall RootScore from 84.3 int he first half of 2014 to 86.2 in H2
Vodafone took the wooden spoon, coming bottom overall and losing out in the call performance and reliability categories. O2 was last for network speed, mobile internet performance and text messaging but came in third overall.
During the tests in the second half of 2014, RootMetrics collected more than one million samples, driving over 24,000 miles and conducted tests indoors, outdoors and on the road.
RootMetrics compiles these results and generates an overall score known as a “RootScore” which is marked out of 100.
Overall, the UK networks saw a marked improvement on results from the first half of the year, with all four carriers seeing their overall RootScore improve.
A statement from Vodafone said: “Independent testing of our network shows that our millions of customers are experiencing a significantly improving network every day due to the massive £1 billion investment we made in our UK network and services last year. We expect to maintain this level of investment this year and next year too.
“Our research shows customers are already seeing a clear improvement in services across the country, with far fewer dropped calls and with many more customers achieving the stronger and more consistent download speeds which they need to allow them to do what they want wherever they want to do it.
“There have been numerous reports into UK network performance over the last few months, each of which shows different results as they are based on different criteria, from locations tested to devices used: for example, research carried out independently by LCC* between December 2014 and January 2015 shows that in 25 major cities where we have rolled out 4G we provide unbeatable or the best indoor and outdoor 4G coverage.
“We continue to call for a common industry approach to these reports to properly measure a consistent signal for voice, data and video in areas where customers need it, including indoors.”
Three chief technology officer Bryn Jones said: “These results show that we are leading the market on reliability and giving our customers a consistent, quality network experience.
“These technical measures back up what our customers are already telling us and show that our focus on the network is bringing genuine benefits to customers. I’m confident that we’ll be able improve even further as we continue to invest in and enhance our network.”
An O2 spokesperson said: “This report is just one of many testing houses operating in the marketplace and represents a fraction of our customers.
“Spirent Communications’ report from November last year (for all major UK operators) reflected O2’s strong position in the market, ranking O2 in 1st place for various measurements including file upload and download speeds as well as web browsing.
“Last year uSwitch recognised O2 as having the UK’s best network coverage and with our daily investment of around £2 million on our network, we’ll continue to roll out 4G as well as completely modernise our 2G and 3G networks, delivering faster speeds and greater coverage, enabling our customers to become more digital.”
An EE spokesperson said: “There are a lot of independent benchmarking tests taking place in the UK, and a lot of tests commissioned by individual operators. It’s only the independent ones that count, and we’re pleased to continue to be top of the UK’s biggest, most comprehensive, and most accurate nationwide mobile network test.
“We’ll continue to invest to make sure that we can always maintain a competitive advantage by having the best network.”