EE provides best overall mobile experience, Vodafone gaining ground

UK State of Mobile Experience

September 23rd 2020

EE consistently offered the best mobile experience to its customers, according to a new report from Tutela,  a global crowdsourced mobile data company. The new 2020 State of Mobile Experience Report found that the operator offered its users the highest Excellent Consistent Quality in the country, indicating that in 81.6% of tests, the network was good enough for demanding applications, such as 1080p video streaming,real-time mobile gaming, and HD video calling. EE had the fastest median download and upload speed in the country, the best one-way latency result, and best coverage overall. 

Meanwhile, Vodafone achieved the highest rating for Core Consistent Quality in the UK, with 93.1% of connections good enough for SD video streaming, social media sharing, and web browsing. 

Tutela has evaluated over 180 million speed and latency tests in the UK, collected from over 2 million devices between 1st March and 31st August 2020, to provide insight into the average experience of subscribers on each of the UK’s “big four” providers. 

Key findings from this report include:

  • EE remains dominant in Tutela’s reporting, with its subscriber base experiencing the highest Excellent Consistent Quality (representative of a range of use-cases such as 1080p video streaming, HD/group video calls, and real-time mobile gaming), fastest median download and upload speed, and best overall coverage of the big four operators.
  • However, EE’s lead is not unchallenged: Vodafone’s subscribers experienced the highest Core Consistent Quality - this means that Vodafone customers enjoy a connection capable of SD video streaming, web browsing and social media sharing more often than subscribers of other operators (in areas where all operators provide service, known as “Common Coverage Areas”). Additionally, Vodafone outperformed EE for Excellent Consistent Quality in Wales, as well as tying with EE in Scotland
  • The gap between 3 and the other operators remains across almost every KPI tested, with the exception of upload throughput. This is likely due in part to 3’s more limited 4G coverage, with users spending a notable amount of time on 3G, and 3’s significant amount of 3G-only geographic coverage. 3's initial 5G deployments have shown promise in the UK, but major investment in both infrastructure and spectrum licenses in the upcoming auctions will be critical for 3 to continue to compete with the rest of the UK's operators

Tom Luke, VP at Tutela, said: “The UK’s ‘big four’ operators continue to impress us with their results, particularly EE and Vodafone. This year, Tutela added new metrics to the table to get a deeper sense of what mobile users are experiencing in the UK, which demonstrated the ongoing competitiveness of the market, even as EE continues to pull away from the rest in the top spot. Despite the continuing race to get 5G up and running smoothly, it's pleasing to know that in the interim, users can still get the best out of their operators in the form of strong and reliable connections - an absolute must as many students and employees still continue to work from home. For 2021, the challenge will be taking the limited 5G coverage in the UK, and expanding it so that more users can feel the benefit”. 

The full report is available here.

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