EE is still UK's best mobile network as speeds remain static

EE is still the UK’s best mobile network according to new figures from OpenSignal, but improvements in speed and availability were relatively static across all operators.

OpenSignal collated more than 1.1 billion measurements from 77,000 devices between June and August this year to see how users were experiencing mobile networks in a real life setting.

EE still has the fastest 4G network with speeds of nearly 29Mbps, but this figure hasn’t grown over the past six months. Vodafone’s network experienced the biggest jump, adding 2Mbps to its average of 21.92Mbps.

OpenSignal results

This saw it beat Three, whose own score fell by 3Mbps to 18.8Mbps, while O2 was last with 14.6Mbps.

But Three can take solace from the continued strong performance of its 3G network. Average 3G speeds rose by 1Mbps to 7.8Mbps, while EE’s rate remained the same at 7.2Mbps. Vodafone’s speeds dropped slightly, meaning it finished in joint-third place with O2 on 4.58Mbps.

EE remains dominant in overall speeds, leading with 25.9Mbps, with Vodafone’s improved 4G speeds helping it secure second spot with 18.4Mbps – an increase of 2Mbps.

One of the contributing factors to this trend could be the re-allocation of 3G resources to 4G. EE for example is re-farming some of its 2100MHz spectrum for LTE use with the intention of laying the foundation for its future 5G service.

But despite ongoing investment in networks by all operators in their 4G networks, OpenSignal found that 4G availability remains static too. As the UK’s largest LTE operator, it’s no surprise that EE retains the crown in this category with 86.77 per cent, but only Three showed any improvement with a 6 percentage point rise to 73.18 per cent.

EE also leads the way in 4G latency with 39.77ms, ahead of Vodafone with 40.78Mbps, O2 on 42.38Mbps and Three with 48.15Mbps

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.