Broadband News

Do you agree with RootMetrics mobile network assessment?

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.


Have to say that for the most part Vodafone is good, their maps can be a bit dubious.

I have to use a Suresignal at home because reception drops off substantially where we are, yet the map says we should have great reception.

  • themanstan
  • over 6 years ago

I would have yes but now that 3 4G is out - and based on the fact it wipes the floor with EE, and that you have to pauy to get 60mbps on EE where as it's free on 3 i'd have to still say 3 are the best. 3 IS limiting tethering as we know but they are NOT limiting 4G use on a handset. EE do deezer but it comes out of the allowance. ven 20GB can go quick

  • pcoventry76
  • over 6 years ago

Yes, in North East Hampshire, Vodafone for some reason have a big coverage problem, lots of no-service spots, even on 2G. 3G is very slow when found, and 4G no sign. O2 much better for 2G but 3G coverage patchy. EE and Three are both amazing, almost full 3G coverage everywhere, and EE have had 4G since August.

Three's 4G is due shortly but will probably be over congested due the low price and all the youth / student users watching Netflix on their HTC One's :-/

  • jchamier
  • over 6 years ago

EE isn't all its cracked up, on double speed 4G in Central London with full signal i can only manage 0.5Mbps download.

  • Penumbra
  • over 6 years ago

Having looked at the maps, its fairly obvious they visited very few roads, confining themselves to only certain main roads

In my area they have just a dual carriageway in the map, and avoided whole areas (and we're on the boarder of london). Viewing the outer boroughs of London shows massive gaps in the map as being 'untested'

I'd therefore take this 'provider table' as a pinch of salt, it being far from comprehensive especially as it seems to avoid areas where people live/work

  • PWilkin
  • over 6 years ago

I've never found mobile broadband to be all that good wherever I am. It's adequate but even in the centre of Birmingham it runs in fits and starts.

I'm with EE (Virgin Mobile) and have a Galaxy S3.

  • AndrueC
  • over 6 years ago

I am not surprised about Vodafone. Their coverage has deteriorated over the last few years. Not only in the number of notspots locally but also places where 3G used to reach and now struggle to get a 2G signal

  • gerarda
  • over 6 years ago

As a shareholder it pains me to say Vodafone are awful. Poor 3G coverage, even in Sheffield.

  • KarlAustin
  • over 6 years ago

As a user of the rootmetrics tester, I allow my two phones to scan and test constantly most days, 1 is on EE and 1 is GiffGaff (o2)

o2 sucks compared to EE which data wise is almost always at least twice as fast if not as much as 10 times as fast as o2

EE has 3G almost everywhere I travel, o2 very rarely do is see 3G while travelling until I get to a large town/city.

So as far as EE is concerned - it really is a fast network when compared to o2.

Now running 4G on EE I reguarly see 27 down 31 up on the tester as well as

  • tam
  • over 6 years ago

@Karl I once had a contract voided because I couldn't get a signal where I lived which was Whites Lane/Cricket Inn. All the way over the top down towards Duke Street Docs, They said I was lying so I tried with 3 phones. Never again

  • pcoventry76
  • over 6 years ago

From my limited experience, yes. I've just switched from Vodafone to T-Mobile and it's far better at both home and work. At home it usually dropped to 2G indoors, then internet crawled, minutes to load a simple page. At work there was almost no signal. On T-Mobile it's strong 3G and fast internet at home and work. Vodafone got worse over the three years I was with them.

  • jrawle
  • over 6 years ago

In Northern Ireland Vodafone's 3G coverage is AWFUL!
Although their 2G coverage is probably on par with o2, the actual throughput on 2G is far inferior.
Vodafone has messed up during my recent upgrade and I've lost a number for 30 days now so I've been playing with a payg EE sim, 2G/3G only, I cannot believe how I've been putting up with such rubbish speeds on Vodafone, I'm getting H and H+ most of the time on EE, now I'm tied to Vodafone for 2 years, grrr, I really hope "Project Spring" the infrastructure sharing with o2 improves things.

  • flipdee
  • over 6 years ago

The worst part is, Vodafone Ireland is amazing, I can listen to iPlayer radio driving from Dundalk to Waterford. Obviously the Celtic tiger saw some serious investment by Vodafone down there.

  • flipdee
  • over 6 years ago

I often watch Netflix on the bus from Newport to Bristol which is some really remote places and not a single buffer. Each network has their sweet patches.

  • pcoventry76
  • over 6 years ago

I switched from Vodafone to Three two weeks ago as i finally had enough of their non existent 3G coverage in Northumberland

  • daveh75
  • over 6 years ago

3G coverage on EE for me is only available in the middle of one of my fields. Nothing in the house at all, no even 2G, 1G, just 0G! No 4G locally either.

Perplexed as to the push to provide signal on the Tube/in the Chunnel etc etc when its not available in areas only a mile or 2 from towns.

  • PhilCoates
  • over 6 years ago

So they test in one location where EE has a clear advantage...

So assuming you aren't in Cardiff 24/7 then Three reigns supreme.

  • otester
  • over 6 years ago

My experience of EE was dropped calls, slow data speeds and texts that refused to send. 3 different phones all the same issue.

Gave up, broke out of contract early and went to three. Will never look back.

  • brandscill
  • over 6 years ago

please report to rootmetrics that your o2 data is invalid as you used giffgaff (unless they let you pick what provider your on), giffgaff (or o2) is speed limiting some random users to 0.5mb/s (when on o2 you can get 4-6mb/s on a O2 contract or PAYG or tesco mobile)

  • leexgx
  • over 6 years ago

If only!

Half the time I can't get a signal in my house. It comes and goes like the tide coming in and out. One minute it's 5 bars on my phone, the next it's zero. Looking at EE's reception map, I should be getting uninterrupted service – like I used to get with O2.

  • MacMuser
  • over 6 years ago

EE's reception is awful, I've had so many missed calls since moving to them. I'm moving away as soon as this contract is up

  • wolfhound
  • over 6 years ago

I think that the EE coverage is pretty bad as I struggle to get coverage at the corner of my street in Liverpool. Lately, in the news, a plane has been reported missing in the middle of the Indian Ocean(the plane is probably under sea now) but apparently the mobile phones of the passengers are still ringing. What network are these people on? EE, you've got a lot to learn to improve the network...

  • pavski31
  • over 6 years ago

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