EE excels as Everyday UK 5G gets faster, more widespread over 2021 | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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The inaugural RootMetrics 5G Scorecard has identified notable infrastructure improvements over the course of 2021 with the EE network being the standout service in the country.
Vodafone 5g video 27April2021
The mobile network performance benchmark firm’s study measured next-generation network users’ everyday usage experience in four major UK cities in 2021 - London, Bristol, Birmingham and Coventry - offering  insights into the most typical end-user 5G experience in the UK cities, that is “everyday” 5G performance. This includes results recorded on both 5G-only technology and 5G mixed-mode, what RootMetrics said was an increasingly common experience for UK consumers of switching between 5G and 4G LTE during the same data service.

Combining these two 5G possibilities, the Everyday 5G results scorecard is said to reflect the most typical user experience when connected to 5G for any amount of time, offer a high-level snapshot of what RootMetrics recorded for each operator across four recently tested cities to date in the first half of 2021. The analyst emphasised that Whether users connected to 5G mixed mode or 5G-only, the key points to understand were the quality of 5G access and the level of 5G performance.

The analyst stressed though that the results do not imply which operator is offering the best 5G performance as a whole in any of the four cities included in its scorecard, across or within any of the 16 cities RootMetrics tests every six months, across the UK as a whole, or over a longer period of time.

Looking at individual operator performance, RootMetrics said that the good news for EE customers was that the operator delivered what it regarded as “impressive” results in each of the four cities tested. EE’s Everyday 5G availability was found to be the highest in three of the four cities tested, while its Everyday 5G median download speeds were also the quickest in three cities, and tied with O2 in Birmingham. Compared with testing across the same four cities in 2H 2020, EE’s Everyday 5G availability had improved in three out of four cities and remained consistently broad in the fourth, Birmingham at 64.7%. EE also showed what it said was “particularly impressive” improvements in Bristol, where its Everyday 5G availability jumped from 36.1% to 46.2% in the first half of 2021 to date and its Everyday 5G median download speed had increased by 32.7 Mbps since the second half of last year.

Although observing that the operator was generally not as fast as its main competitors, the study showed Three UK recorded strong Everyday 5G median download speeds in each city tested, with its quickest speed of 119.0 Mbps recorded in Coventry, a speed that would allow users there to download a 600MB video from Netflix in just 42 seconds. Three’s best Everyday 5G availability result was 47.4% in Birmingham, which trailed only that of EE in the city (64.7%).

O2’s results were something of a mixed bag. The operator’s speeds were strong in general, and O2 clocked the fastest Everyday 5G median download speed in London at 154.9 Mbps. However, the study also revealed that its Everyday 5G availability trailed that of the competition in three out of four cities, with its highest Everyday 5G availability of 28.6% recorded in Bristol. That said, RootMetrics added that O2 users could be encouraged to learn that O2’s Everyday 5G availability and median download speeds improved in all four cities since 2H 2020.

Vodafone didn’t register any 5G results in Coventry, but in the other three cities RootMetrics looked at, the Everyday 5G median download speeds were seen as fast, ranging from 121.9 Mbps to 143.8 Mbps. Moreover, Vodafone’s Everyday 5G availability improved by at least 14% in all three cities since 2H 2020, with its improvement in Bristol particularly impressive, rising from 34.3% in 2H 2020 to 48.5% this time.

“5G in the UK has historically been fast, and the good news is that we’re seeing both faster speeds and more widespread Everyday 5G availability so far in 2021,” said RootMetrics chief executive officer Kevin Hasley. “As 5G continues to expand, users are spending more and more time on 5G mixed mode, so we feel it’s important to factor those results into our reporting to capture the most typical 5G experience, especially for early adopters in the UK.”