Birmingham ‘clear leader’ for UK 5G | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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As 5G networks proliferate around the country, the latest edition of RootMetrics benchmarking study of the country’s next-generation mobile infrastructure has named England’s second city as a clear first in overall 5G experience defined by both network speed and availability.
EE Netflix Android 11 Aug 2021
RootMetrics regards the combination of 5G speed and availability as the hallmark of a good user experience and by this standard Glasgow and Belfast – which with Birmingham made up the top three in terms of speed alone - trailed by some distance, ranking twelfth and ninth, respectively, out of 13 cities tested.

The 1H 2021 UK 5G summary report follows other recent RootMetrics studies and ranks UK cities based on aggregate 5G speeds and availability for the 13 UK cities in which all four major operators – EE, Vodafone, Three and O2 - offered 5G. Coventry, Leicester, and Nottingham were not eligible for the rankings, with only three operators in each city registering 5G at the time of testing.

England’s second city came out first among the country’s three biggest cities for 5G speed, recording the second fastest aggregate 5G speed in the country, along with the second highest availability. Manchester was close behind in the RootMetrics 5G rankings, finishing fourth for aggregate 5G speed and third for availability. By contrast, London ranked sixth for speed and seventh for availability, giving the UK’s capital middle-of-the-pack rankings in two crucial 5G categories. Glasgow’s aggregate 5G median download speed of 144.3 Mbps just pipped that of Birmingham, which was recorded at 143.5 Mbps.

Glasgow returned the UK’s quickest 5G with Vodafone delivering the fastest single 5G median download speed at what the analyst called an “outstanding” 192.2 Mbps, which was also the single fastest 5G median download speed RootMetrics recorded in any UK city over the course of the first half year. The analyst calculates that at that speed, users can download a 600MB episode of their favourite series from Netflix in less than 30 seconds.

BT-owned EE was reported to have offered “great” speeds and the highest 5G availability in each of the UK’s three fastest 5G cities, giving users both widespread 5G coverage and fast connectivity. Although Three UK was found to have claimed neither the fastest 5G speed nor the highest 5G availability in any of the UK’s three fastest cities, it did, said RootMetrics, deliver strong performances in those areas. Three was especially fast in Belfast, where its 5G median download speed of 127.1 Mbps was the fastest speed Three recorded in any UK city in 1H 2021.

Virgin Media O2’s 5G “impressed” the analyst in each of the UK’s three fastest 5G cities and was particularly fast in Birmingham and Glasgow. Its 5G median download speeds of 163.7 Mbps and 179.3 Mbps, respectively, were two of the three fastest 5G speeds RootMetrics recorded in the UK in 1H 2021. Vodafone, with the fastest 5G speed of any operator in Glasgow, was said to be impressive in Birmingham as well, recording a 5G median download speed of 143.8 Mbps.