Both tied with 803 points out of a possible 1,000, with Vodafone marginally better in call success and EE in data tests
Vodafone and EE are the UK’s best networks for voice and data, according to the latest tests for 2016 from P3 Communications.
Both carriers finished with a score of 803/1000 points with the other two networks, Three and O2, finishing third with 778 and fourth 747 points respectively.
Out of the top two, Vodafone scored marginally better in the voice category, most notably with a call success ratio whilst walking cities of 99.3 per cent. Whilst EE were slightly better in the data tests, failing to dip below a 95 per cent success rate.
P3 tested the networks voice and data performance in 13 cities, a range of towns and on 2,000 miles of the UK’s major roads with the aim of replicating the consumers experience throughout a day using their handset to make and receive calls and browse the web, transfer files and stream HD content.
Vodafone also took the crown for the most improved network for the second year running, going from fourth in 2014, scoring 56 per cent, and third in 2015, with 67 per cent, to first in 2016, grabbing over 80 per cent of the points on offer.
In direct contrast, O2 were placed in fourth for the second year in a row only getting a ‘satisfactory’ rating from gaining 75 per cent of the points on offer, compared to the rest of the competition who all achieved a ‘good’ rating. The only consolation from the report came from London where they offer the best voice service.
The tests also found that all networks improved their performance in London compared to the rest of the country, with EE taking the prize for best data coverage in the capital, however the gap in performance between London and the rest of the country is narrower.
‘Good news for UK customers’
P3 Communications CEO Hakan Ekmen said: “Our tests are good news for the UK’s mobile customers, because for the first time three networks are in our ‘good’ category, even though this year’s tests were the toughest yet.
“Over the three years we have been testing we can see substantial improvements in the overall quality of service, which is a clear indication of how our benchmarks are helping to drive improvements in the networks.
“High-quality connectivity is going to be essential to the UK’s future quality of life and competitiveness and our tests mark the country’s progress towards embracing the many opportunities that will unfold.”
£2 billion investment programme
Vodafone’s success follows a £2 billion investment programme in its network and services since 2014 – the largest in the company’s history. It has upgraded or installed more than 5,000 4G-enabled mobile sites over the past 12 months to extend 4G outdoor coverage to 95 per cent of the UK population.
It also recently introduced a ‘Network Satisfaction Guarantee’, providing new and upgrading customers with a 30 day trial to experience for themselves the quality of the network before they fully commit to it.
The mobile operator plans to invest a further £2 billion in its network and services over the next three years, including accelerating the expansion and upgrading of its network to around 400 new base stations every month.
It added enhancing coverage in rural areas will be a key priority in that investment programme, especially in more remote “not-spot” locations with limited or no access to mobile services.
Vodafone UK chief executive Nick Jeffrey said: “We’re building the UK’s strongest network designed, site by site, to meet all of our customers’ needs, wherever they are. These results are a welcome validation that our massive investment programme is making a real difference for our customers.”