Report shows strong 5G growth in UK
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
EE billboard sign about 5G RootMetrics named EE the UK's top 5G network for the ninth year in a row (credit: BT)

Mobile network performance measurement firm RootMetrics has revealed that UK mobile network operators are delivering “outstanding 5G reliability with low latency”.

According to the latest RootMetrics UK Mobile Performance Review, a “highly competitive battle to provide the best 5G” has led all four major UK mobile operators - EE, Three UK, Virgin Media 02 and Vodafone UK - improving download speeds, reliability and latency of their networks in the first half of 2022.

Alongside isolated 5G testing, RootMetrics assessed all network technologies with 642,296 tests UK-wide, across the four nations and within 16 major metropolitan areas to compile the report. All of the report’s testing was carried out using Samsung 5G-enabled handsets sold by retailers to reflect the experience of consumers using 4G LTE and 5G networks.

In measuring relative network performance, BT-owned EE came out on top for all of the report’s UK-wide RootScore categories which measured: ‘Reliability’, ‘Accessibility’, ‘Speed’, ‘Data’, ‘Call’, and ‘Text’. This marked the ninth year in a row that EE has led on all seven UK-wide RootScore categories.

Commenting on the report’s results, Marc Allera, CEO of the consumer division at BT, said: “We are proud to be named the UK’s best network for the ninth year running. Reliability is of huge importance to our customers, and we pride ourselves on leading the industry.

“I’m delighted to see the huge investments we make recognised once again and we will continue to expand the UK’s leading 4G and 5G networks across the nation.”

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In the 16 metropolitan areas, EE won the most RootScore Awards, but all four operators improved in 5G availability and speed. Across the 16 areas, Three UK saw significant gains in 5G download speeds and both Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone used newly acquired spectrum to boost 5G availability and speeds.

Three UK’s 5G availability results were similar to EE’s, with both networks covering more than 50% of the nation and Three UK now boasts the country’s leading 5G median download speeds, clocking in at nearly 200 Mbps.

Virgin Media O2 delivered what the analyst called “excellent” text results, ranking first or second in all four nations, and Vodafone UK performed especially well in Wales posting second-place finishes for both reliability and text performance in the country.

The report’s authors concluded: "While all four operators continue to make progress and provide users with strong reliability, good latency, and fast speeds, EE and Three offered greater 5G availability and are currently neck-and-neck when it comes to delivering the best overall 5G experience in the UK. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that with the competition continuing to increase in such a dynamic landscape, we could see further changes ahead."

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