EE dominates RootMetrics benchmarking study but loses 5G crown to Three


All of the UK’s mobile operators demonstrated impressive results, with EE continuing to lead the pack in most categories

This week, RootMetrics (Ookla) have released their bi-annual benchmarking study of UK mobile networks, measuring both performance and coverage of various mobile technologies.

RootMetrics, as ever, have been diligent in their methodology, conducting 634,942 tests in 16 of the UK’s most populous cities, all using the same Samsung smartphone model. These tests took place at various locations around the cities, including indoors and while driving, during both night and day.

The results were largely as expected. For the 21st time in a row, the UK’s largest mobile operator EE took home the UK Overall RootScore Award, having came first in all but one of the measured categories. The study put EE first in terms of overall reliability, accessibility, and network speed, with their lead in the latter category being particularly notable as roughly twice the median speeds of their nearest rival, Vodafone.

The only category in which EE did not come out on top was the Best 5G award, which was marginally stolen away by Three UK.

“Three once again registered good overall speed results in major cities, and the operator’s top combination of 5G availability plus performance allowed Three to edge past EE and earn Best 5G honours in the second half of 2023,” wrote RootMetrics in their release.

Vodafone also put in a typically strong showing, coming in second place behind EE in six out of seven performance categories. Virgin Media O2, meanwhile, demonstrated little change from their H1 2023 results, but nonetheless posted a very respectable performance figures.

How is 5G impacting the UK’s economy? Join the operators in discussion at this year’s Connected North conference live in Manchester

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