Three best for voice calls but EE strongest overall according to tests ran from August to November
EE is the best UK network for data, according to benchmark tests from P3 Communications, but Three is best for calls.
The first P3 Mobile Benchmark (UK) used two specially equipped measurement vans to test call quality and data speeds on the four major UK networks between September and November and found EE’s performance was “best in test”.
The test vehicles covered more than 3,500 miles and collected more than 160,000 data samples. P3 conducted more than 16,000 calls to get 125,000 speech samples during the benchmark tests.
P3 collated the tests and ranked the results on a scale that aggregates the achievements in the different test categories on to one final count, with a maximum score out of 500.
EE won best in test after scoring 366 overall. It was also ranked best for data after scoring 226 out of 310, with an 81 per cent connection success in “big cities” – London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
EE was also joint-highest for small cities, equalling both Three and O2 with a 45 per cent success rate for data. Vodafone was lowest with 32 per cent.
An EE spokesperson said: “There have been numerous benchmark tests carried out in the UK this year, and there is a clear trend – EE is number one. Whether it’s Speedtest.net, RootMetrics, GWS, Ofcom or now P3, our 4G performance is unbeatable, and this latest report shows where the challenge is on phone calls.
“We’ll keep investing, keep expanding the network, keep getting better, and we welcome more independent tests that help customers see which network is best for them.”
Three was the strongest network for voice calls, achieving a score of 153 out of 190. EE came second with 140, whilst Vodafone and O2 came third and fourth with 94 and 84 respectively.
In big cities, Three achieved a 75 per cent call success rating and this increased to 91 per cent in smaller metropolitan areas.
P3 also performed London-specific tests and found that EE was the best network in the capital for both calls (88 out of 125) and data (167 out of 200). Three equalled EE’s score for calls but only managed 99 out of 200 for data – the worst out of any of the networks.
Vodafone came second overall with 200 after tying O2 with 143 for data but bettering it for calls with 57, compared to O2’s score of 42.
P3 Communications managing director Peter Seidenberg said: “Comparing the UK results with other P3 mobile benchmarks in Europe and Australia makes it clear that much better performances are achievable.
“The good news for all UK mobile customers is that the newest technology potentially provides for much more capability than is currently implemented. We expect to see significant improvements by the time the next testing cycle begins.”
A statement from Vodafone pointed to the fact that there had been numerous benchmark tests carried out in the UK this year, each showing different results, and called for a common industry approach to such reports.
Vodafone said: “We are investing £1 billion in our UK network and services this year alone and our customers are already beginning to see a clear improvement in the service they experience across the country, including more consistent download speeds, more reliable voice calling and far fewer dropped calls.
“We expect our customers’ experience and our network coverage to continue to get significantly better as the momentum of our Project Spring investment accelerates further.”