UK 5G getting faster, boosting consumer sentiment | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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After being late to the next-gen network party, the UK is rapidly catching up and is second only to South Korea and China when it comes to 5G speeds offered throughout nations according to the latest Ookla Speedtest Intelligence report.
Vodafone 5g video 15Sep2021
The study fundamentally discovered that increasing numbers of UK communities are gaining access to 5G networks and speeds as operators expand 5G deployments across the nation. The data noted that Three UK’s 5G network covers 30% of the “outdoor population”, Vodafone offers 5G service to 123 towns and cities, O2 has 5G in over 180 towns and cities and EE plans on having 5G provide “signal to over 90% of UK landmass” by 2028. Yet Ookla also found that despite improved speeds, there was showed disparate 5G access across the UK.

The period from Q1-Q2 2021 was said to have marked a “noticeable” upward trend in median download speed over all technologies in the UK after two years of stagnant speeds. Previous Ookla research had shown that Q1-Q2 2019 started at 21.44 Mbps and speeds began rising as late as Q3-Q4 2020 to 23.60 Mbps before further increasing to 29.96 Mbps in Q1-Q2 2021. During this same period, 4G LTE download speeds remained nearly constant: starting at 23.50 Mbps in Q1-Q2 2019 and decreasing slightly over time to 23.01 Mbps during Q1-Q2 2021.

This boost in the UK during Q1-Q2 2021 said Ookla was attributable to what it regarded as a “giant” surge in consumers switching to 5G services. Nearly seventy thousand more customers performed a Speedtest over 5G in Q1-Q2 2021 than in Q3-Q4 2020.

The study data listed a “decisive” win for Three UK during Q1-Q2 2021, with a median 5G download speed of 231.07 Mbps. Vodafone followed at 159.49 Mbps, O2 was next at 155.54 Mbps and EE last at 151.03 Mbps. Vodafone had the fastest median 5G upload at 19.69 Mbps during Q1-Q2 2021, followed by EE (18.42 Mbps), 3 (13.65 Mbps) and O2 (11.74 Mbps). EE had the best 5G availability at 17.9%. Vodafone was next at 10.3%, 3 followed (6.4%) and O2 was last (5.4%).

Gauging customer satisfaction with their mobile operator’s service, Ookla discovered that during Q1-Q2 2021, EE received the only positive net positive score (NPS) among mobile operators at 10.82. O2 followed at -13.72, Vodafone was next at -14.97 and 3 was last at -18.09. When looking at NPS scores only from 5G results, NPS improves enormously for every operator, with EE earning an NPS of 43.40, which was followed by O2 (40.45), 3 (34.82) and Vodafone (28.30). It’s clear: consumers using 5G are much happier with their mobile experience.

Making a global comparison of the UK performance data, Ookla observed that South Korea and China had the fastest median 5G download speeds among the UK’s top trading partners at 440.53 Mbps and 302.78 Mbps, respectively, during Q1-Q2 2021. The UK had the next fastest download speed on the list at 167.38 Mbps, edging out Japan (163.68 Mbps). The US had the slowest 5G download speed among the UK’s top trading partners with a median of 81.04 Mbps. China had the fastest median 5G upload speed on the list at 46.31 Mbps, followed by South Korea (41.79 Mbps) and the Netherlands (33.16 Mbps). Upload speed in the UK lagged behind every other top trading partner except France at 15.91 Mbps.

The Speedtest Intelligence data also showed a wide divide between 5G availability in these nations during Q1-Q2 2021. The US led the way with 49.5% of consumers with 5G capable devices experiencing 5G connections a majority of the time. The Netherlands was second at 44.0% and South Korea third at 40.4%. The UK. landed squarely in the middle of the list with 10.2% 5G availability.