Manchester tops latest RootMetrics network tests


Liverpool replaced as the best performing city in the second half of last year, while London dropped to 13 out of the 16 cities tested 

Manchester has been ranked top for overall performance in the latest round of tests conducted by RootMetrics.

The rankings were a result of nearly 400,000 test samples and more than 12,000 miles driven across the UK in the second half of 2015.

It saw the 16 most populous metropolitan areas from best to worst across ranked across six categories: Overall Performance, Network Speed, Network reliability, Mobile Internet Performance, Call Performance and Text Performance.

An average score was calculated for performances observed on the EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, with scores weighted according to the estimated number of subscribers for each carrier.

RootMetrics rankings
Manchester overtook Liverpool in the latest rankings

Manchester/Liverpool rivalry

Manchester rose two places from the tests conducted in the first half of last year to top the most recent rankings with a score of 95.4, finishing number one in overall performance, network reliability and mobile internet performance.

Birmingham retained second position by scoring 94.6, with the city number two in reliability, call performance and text performance, Liverpool fell from the leading city to third with a score of 94.5 and only finished number one in one category – network speed.

RootMetrics general manager of Europe Scott Stonham said: “There’s just no getting away from the Manchester-Liverpool rivalry, and throughout 2015 the two cities have been tussling for the mobile top spot.

“While Manchester scored the most points in the second half of the year, people using their phone in Liverpool, and Birmingham too, can expect a strong overall mobile performance whatever network they are on.”

London struggles 

However, London continued to struggle in the rankings, dropping four places to 13th with a score of 90.1. The capital finished the 2015 ranking no higher than 10th (mobile internet) in any category.

Median download and upload speeds here generally held steady or even slightly improved during the second half. While the top three cities in the rankings had 4G connections 88 per cent of the time, the bottom two (Cardiff and Hull) are in the sub-60 per cent range, while London recorded connections 85 per cent of the time.

Stonham concluded: “Providing good mobile coverage in London is always going to be difficult due to the density of the population, the architecture and changes in demand on capacity.

“Our data shows there is still room for improvement in some of the UK’s most populous areas, and more needs to be done to ensure a good mobile service – a vital part of a city’s basic infrastructure.”