Press Release

A close race to provide the best 5G in the UK is enriching the experience of mobile users across the nation, reveals RootMetrics’ latest UK Mobile Performance Review.

According to the report, any 5G performance gap between major UK network operators continues to narrow as 5G continues to expand and mature.

In the first half of this year, all four operators delivered outstanding 5G speeds, with each operator posting 5G median download speeds over 100 Mbps in most of the 16 cities tested – demonstrating how market competition is helping improve the experience for 5G users in the UK.

While EE leads in fifth percentile speeds for 5G —an important measure of an operator’s overall speed consistency—Three edged ahead of EE in 5G median download speeds, clocking in at nearly 200 Mbps, a bit higher than EE’s 150 Mbps.

Three’s 5G availability results were similar to EE’s, with both networks recording 5G availability approaching 50% during UK-wide testing, compared to approximately 35% for both Virgin Media O2 and Vodafone.

Alongside isolated 5G testing, RootMetrics also assessed the consumer mobile experience across all network technologies (5G, 4G LTE, and any sub-4G technologies), conducting over 600,000 tests UK-wide, across the four nations and within 16 major metropolitan areas. This year’s results reveal:

• EE remained the leader in UK-wide, nation-wide, and metropolitan testing in the first half of the year. The operator won all seven UK-wide RootScore categories, including the UK Overall RootScore Award for the ninth year in a row.
• In the nation-specific categories, EE earned 25 UK Nation RootScore Awards out of a possible 28 and delivered the fastest aggregate median download speed in each of the four UK nations.
• Three performed especially well in Wales, sharing the Call RootScore Award and posting second-place finishes for both reliability and text performance in the country.
• Virgin Media O2 delivered excellent text results, ranking first or second in all four nations.
• In the 16 metropolitan areas, EE won the most RootScore Awards (111 total awards out of 112 opportunities), but all four operators performed well in general, particularly on 5G. While all networks showed improvement to 5G availability and speed in multiple cities, Three and Vodafone stood out for delivering faster 5G speeds and higher availability in nearly every city tested in 1H 2022.