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The RootMetrics 2nd Half 2014 UK Mobile Network Performance Review

Tags: Three (HKG:0013), Everything Everywhere, Vodafone (LON:VOD), O2/Telefonica (NYSE:TEF)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacoxw

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RootScore Reports provide an in-depth, independent, and consumer-focused look at network performance The operator with the most first place totals across UK, Nations and Metro results is the overall winner. RootScores are calculated from multiple tests that are weighted according to their impact on a user's experience.

Overall, EE came first place with a RootScore of 117, Three is second place with 38, O2 is third place with 20 and Vodafone came in fourth with an overall RootScore of 9.

RootScore UK level

Overall Performance

EE (89.4)
 Three (86.2)  O2 (79.5) 
Vodafone (78.8)

Network Reliability

EE (91.6)
 Three (91.1)  O2 (81.0)
 Vodafone (80.8)

Network Speed

EE (82.1)
 Three (70.7)  Vodafone (68.7)
 O2 (68.0)

Mobile internet performance

EE (80.8)
 Three (83.7)  Vodafone (71.9)
 O2 (69.6)

Call Performance

EE (90.0)
 Three (87.5) O2 (87.2)
 Vodafone (83.4)

Text Performance

EE (92.7)
 Three (91.3)  Vodafone (89.6) 
O2 (89.5)

Key Findings 

  • EE finished top in all six categories of testing. It won five out of six categories outright and tied for first with Three in the reliability testing.
  • Three continues to be EE's closest competitor in the UK-wide results.  The report states that "The hallmark of Three's network is its reliability."
  • Three made a significant jump in the call testing. Three moved from last place in the first-half UK Call RootScore Award to a second-place tie with O2 in this round of testing.
  • Three also finished second in every other category, including network speed.
  • The report also highlighted that Three's second place finish in network speed at the UK level is "particularly noteworthy" as we do not have the same breadth of 4G footprint that the other networks have.
  • UK speed: Three's consistency not only in urban areas but also in rural spaces helped it outperform O2 and Vodafone
  • Three also outpaced O2 and Vodafone in the task completion testing, which looks at how quickly a network can finish consumer tasks such as sending email or performing web and app tasks.

For overall UK performance, the report concluded that "EE might have the lead at the moment, but the race with Three is a close one. Three's continued strong performances makes it another strong contender for consumers looking for performance at the UK level."

RootScore National level

Performance across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Key Findings

  • Three finished first or second in all categories in testing across all four nations. The report highlighted that "Three is especially strong if you are looking first and foremost for reliability".
  • Three earned a RootScore Award for reliability in all nations except England (where it was second)
  • Three outperformed EE in terms of reliability wins at the nation level. Three won or tied for first in three nations; EE won or tied for first in two.
  • The report highlighted that "Three remains very much a part of the mobile performance race at the national level, offering consumers another solid option...EE and Three appeared to be playing on an entirely different pitch than O2 and Vodafone"

Metro RootScore Level

Metro RootScore Reports provides a detailed look at how the networks compare across six categories that are important to the consumer mobile experience: Overall performance, Network Speed performance, Network Reliability performance, Mobile Internet performance, Call performance, and Text performance.

Three - key findings

  • Call performance : 13
  •  Mobile internet performance : 0
  • Overall performance: 2
  • Reliability index: 12
  • Speed index: 0
  • Text performance: 0

Three - Reliability

  • Three tied for or finished first outright in our reliability index in 12 out of the 16 markets RootMetrics tested.
  • Three also saw an improved download success rate compared to the first half of 2014.
  • Three's download success rate never dipped below 90% for second half markets
  • Three's 13 total Call RootScore Awards was tied with EE

Three - Speed

  • Three's speeds outside the larger urban areas, where other networks also lack 4G, remain competitive.
  • In busy urban centres Three's speeds often trail those of the more robust 4G networks.

Overall, EE received the most Metro RootScore award wins (91) with Three coming in second with a total of 27 - an improvement of two points from the last report. O2 came third with 20 and Vodafone came fourth with a total of 8 wins. Three was the only operator to see an improvement across these consumer mobile experience categories.

About RootMetrics

RootMetrics is an independent mobile analytics firm that offers insights into the consumer mobile experience at locations across the UK. RootMetrics provides data on mobile network performance to help people make more informed mobile decisions. The company offers its RootScore Report series for the UK, UK nations, and metropolitan areas, as well as its downloadable CoverageMap app. To ensure that RootMetrics testing reflects real-world mobile usage, testing is conducted based on where, when, and how consumers use their devices most often. 

Rankings based on RootMetrics UK RootScore Reports for mobile performance as tested on best available plans and devices on 4 mobile networks across all available network types (January - June 2014). The RootMetrics award is not an endorsement of Three. Your results may vary. See www.rootmetrics.co.uk  for details.