RootMetrics has upset Vodafone by placing them at the bottom of the UK mobile provider table, and possibly made a few people happy inside EE with the release of its latest mobile network testing across the UK.
The testing was carried out using software installed on off the shelf android handsets, with it taking six months to cover the UK, and even then there are gaps in the data when you view their map, but most major roads appear to be covered.
The full set of metrics for the UK has EE winning with a score of 84.6 out of 100, Three 73.5, O2 66.5 and Vodafone 52.4. EE was top across the five testing categories of reliability, speed, mobile Internet performance, call performance and text performance. Unfortunately Vodafone was always in fourth place apart from a 3rd place in the speed category.
As part of our ISPA Awards testing during 2014 we have launched a broadband speed tester that works on mobiles and tablets as well as computers, if your smart TV has a capable browser it may even work on that. This tester will help you to judge whether the RootMetric results they show on their map are a reasonable assessment for your area, remember that most of their testing is done outside rather than in a cosy lounge.
Given that the politicians are starting to consider how 4G may push superfast broadband coverage up to levels of 98% for 2018, the race to show a network can meet the expectations is underway. Many complain that 3G coverage should be fixed first, but the changes in efficiency and spectrum used for 4G mean that it has greater potential to offer better coverage. Whether the promises of better coverage will be met will depend on the mobile operators completing their upgrades or whether old fashioned economics will mean the rural areas miss out yet again.