Press Release

P3, the international consulting, engineering and testing services company, has named EE as the leading mobile provider following tests measuring the quality of network performance in the UK.

The P3 connect Mobile Benchmark UK 2017 report surveyed four networks – Vodafone, EE, Three and O2 – using a highly sophisticated range of benchmarks in 20 UK cities, a range of smaller towns and along 2,000 miles of major roads. In 2017, the measurement of “operational excellence”, an additional crowdsourced assessment of service availability, has been included for the first time. The tests, which have been conducted by P3 since 2014, are now the most trusted benchmark among UK operators.

With the grade “very good” and a score of 871, EE did best overall with a lead in voice and data. Vodafone ranks second with an overall score of 818 and grade of “good”. Three comes in third with an overall score of 754 and the grade “good”. O2 ranks last with an overall score of 667 and the grade “satisfactory”.

Hakan Ekmen, Managing Director P3 communications, explains: “High-quality connectivity is essential to the UK’s future quality of life and competitiveness, so it is encouraging that three of the four main operators have been ranked as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. In 2018, over-the-top content services, technologies like carrier aggregation and voice over LTE as well as crowd-sourcing based measurements, will become more important. This will make next year’s results even more exciting.”

In large cities Vodafone’s performance is almost on par with EE. In some categories such as voice tests conducted in the larger cities, O2 still manages to perform ahead of the overall third-ranking competitor Three. In the recently introduced crowd-sourcing based sub-category “operational excellence” Vodafone and O2 had the highest score.

The overall winner in London is EE, with Vodafone taking a lead in the voice discipline. In London, O2 is somewhat ahead of Three due to stronger voice results. However, when taking the data category into consideration, Three’s score remains ahead of 02.

In the cities of Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester, the overall picture is not much different to the nationwide results. In Belfast, EE leads over Vodafone, while O2 scores higher than Three thanks to strong voice results.

In Sheffield, Three overtakes Vodafone. In Glasgow and Liverpool, Vodafone manages to take the lead over EE due to strong data results.

Three performed strongly in the voice tests conducted in smaller towns and on connecting roads as well as in the data category in towns.

Test of network availability were positive. Between July to September 2017, there was only a one-hour period of downtime on the EE network and one five-hour period on the Three network. For Vodafone and O2, no relevant incidents were observed.

Besides the UK benchmark, P3 connect Mobile Benchmarks will be published in Australia, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands within the coming months.

About the P3 connect Mobile Benchmark

The P3 connect Mobile Benchmark is totally independent combining the expertise of P3, the industry’s advocate and global authority regarding measuring network performance, with more than 20 years of editorial experience and testing knowledge of connect, that is regarded as a leading consumer authority in Europe. The independent benchmark methodology of P3 assures a fair, transparent and neutral evaluation of the networks under test. The benchmark is positioned to be a unique measure for management and supervisory boards to compare their networks with others, and for customers to make better decisions for their subscriptions.

The comprehensive test measured the voice and data performance on the four UK operators’ mobile networks covering about 4,750 miles, driving through 20 of the largest cities in the UK, smaller towns as well as connecting roads. The areas tested account for more than 17 million people, or about 27 per cent of the UK population.