Independent tests from RootMetrics find that EE is the sole UK operator with 5G availability above 55 percent in any city.
In fact, the UK’s largest operator by mobile subscribers can boast everyday 5G availability above 55 percent in four major cities: Birmingham (64.6%), Nottingham (63.9%), Manchester (59.4%), Leicester (57.8%), and Cardiff (55.8%).
Compared to last year, EE managed to improve its 5G availability in 13 cities. Furthermore, the operator has the overall highest 5G availability in 14 out of 16 cites.
And it’s not just availability where EE shines in RootMetrics’ report; with the network’s median 5G download speeds also increasing in 14 cities.
Marc Allera, CEO of the Consumer Division at EE-owner BT, said:
“Delivering the best mobile experience for our customers is our number one priority, and 5G has a huge role to play in that.
Today’s results not only show our superiority in the industry, but also significant improvements since last year, reflecting the continued investment we’re making to deliver 5G to more places and people.”
The results put EE on-track to achieve the goal it set itself last month to grow its 5G network to cover half of the country’s population by early 2023, and offer 5G connectivity everywhere in the UK by 2028.
Patrick Linder, CMO at RootMetrics by IHS Markit, commented:
“Our latest research shows that 5G in the UK is becoming faster and more easily available. EE is comfortably ahead of the pack in terms of offering widespread everyday 5G availability coupled with fast speeds, but other operators are improving.
Virgin Media O2 in particular delivered outstanding speeds and Vodafone showed its network potential with a fantastic showing in Glasgow.”
In Glasgow, Vodafone achieved the fastest 5G median download speed of any operator of 192.2 Mbps. All but one of Vodafone’s everyday 5G median download speeds were a minimum of 100 Mbps.
When concentrating on just central London, Vodafone once again posted the highest median 5G download speed of an incredible 221 Mbps. EE led the way in this region in terms of availability with a median of 95.3 percent.
“The exciting results we recorded in central London bode well for users in other cities and rural areas as 5G continues to be rolled out, and mobile users should anticipate an even better 5G experience going forward thanks to operators’ purchase of additional spectrum during the recent auction,” adds Linder.
Freshly-merged Virgin Media O2 had mixed results in the report. On the one hand, it had the fastest 5G median download speeds in nine out of 16 cities. On the other, the operator’s 5G availability remained the lowest in eight cities.
However, Three struggled the most in the tests—posting the slowest 5G median speeds in 14 cities. RootMetrics notes the operator’s acquisition of the most mid-band spectrum puts the company in a strong position to improve its 5G availability and performance.
Compared to the US, all of the UK’s operators put in strong performances. None of the UK operators’ median 5G speeds were below 50 Mbps in H1 2021. In the US, all three major carriers clocked speeds below 50 Mbps in almost half of the 125 cities tested by RootMetrics.
The full UK 5G report for H1 2021 can be found here.
Find out more about Digital Transformation Week North America, taking place on November 9-10 2021, a virtual event and conference exploring advanced DTX strategies for a ‘digital everything’ world.