EE is still the UK's best mobile network

EE’s cemented its position as the UK’s best mobile network during the second half of 2017, according to RootMetrics latest round of testing, which named the operator as number one in all six categories.

The BT-owned network won the network reliability, network speed, data performance and text performance categories and was named best overall. It shared the call performance category with Three.

Vodafone, which closed the gap in the first half of 2017, didn’t win any awards this time round, while O2 finished in last place out of the four main operators.

EE 4G network

However RootMetrics suggested O2 could turn its fortunes around if it improved its rural performance and noted its text performance had been improving, while it was joint-first with Three and Vodafone in Northern Ireland.

Another regional quirk was Three’s strong network in Wales, where it was named most reliable and best at voice.

RootMetrics testers conducted 708,000 tests using Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphones and travelled more than 22,048 miles across the UK. There was also testing at 649 indoor locations, something others have criticised RootMetrics for not doing enough of in previous testing.

The firm claims its report covered the entire of the UK population and is the most scientific and comprehensive view possible.

“We’re starting to see that capital expenditure in the latest network infrastructure, such as EE’s investment in VoLTE pays off in the form of improved customer experience,” said Scott Stonham, RootMetrics general manager for Europe.

“According to IHS Markit research, capex is expected to grow moderately this year, and we will see the foundations being laid for fibre plant and 5G. It will be fascinating to see how the operators balance the creation of the networks of the future and maintaining and improving existing infrastructure.”


Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.