Broadband News

EE mobile speeds appeared to dip between 22nd March and 1st April

This week it is time to look at the daily speed data for EE mobile services i.e. speed test results recorded over their 3G, 4G or in some places 5G network. An immediate caveat is that the daily sample size is lower than for the fixed line providers we have covered so far and this will explain some of the variations seen. The time period covered is the last 90 days i.e. going back to 7th February 2020.

While the data sample size is not ideal, it seems more than a coincidence that we saw much lower speeds on average between 2nd March and 1st April. The sample size for each day follows our usual pattern so it is not because people have stopped speed testing on their way to the office and thus within range of 4G LTE masts that can provide speeds close what some see with 5G services when using the 3.4 GHz band.

EE mobile download speeds January February March April 2020
Chart of the daily download speeds seen from EE 3G/4G/5G speed tests

One real possibility for the dip is that the mobile networks saw a big increase in use in areas where they traditionally did not see heavy use and by rebalancing the network after a few days were able to improve things again. The reason we did spot this before was that we were not monitoring the EE mobile speeds throughout the day like we do for the fixed services, when we started the monitoring a few weeks ago we also rebuilt the analysed results for the previous weeks back to the start of 2020.

EE mobile upload speeds January February March April 2020
Chart of the daily upload speeds seen from EE 3G/4G/5G speed tests

The upload speeds don't show the dip to same extent but some impact can be seen. The quality graph though does mirror the problems shown in the download chart i.e. quality score was higher reflecting a more variable throughput speed during each speed test. Speed variations on the mobile services are much more common hence why all the mobile networks tend to get a B or C grade each month compared to the fixed line services. Whether 5G is going to improve on this in the long term is something the marketing suggests, but we are waiting to see enough people with 5G handsets so we can see if the data suggests a big improvement.

EE mobile latency in January February March April 2020
Chart of the daily median and mean latency seen from EE 3G/4G/5G speed tests
EE mobile quality score in January February March April 2020
Chart of the quality score seen from EE 3G/4G/5G speed tests, reflecting how consistent download speeds are during a test. The closer to zero the better.

The latency chart while a lot higher average than the other charts due to the extra latency from using a wireless service is all very boring apart from a spike in the mean average on 14th April 2020. The cause of the spike is unknown.

Next week is the turn of the Vodafone fixed line services and how they have been performing in the last 90 days.


i wonder how much was reconfiguring, and how much was an emergency truck load of new equiptment for 4g masts, or even the stuff to light some dark fibre that have probably been in central storage for "phase whenever"

  • Hewitt96
  • 26 days ago

The images are not loading I am afraid. The error is...

The page "/assets/images/news-2020/eemobileuploadspeedsmay2020.png" you were looking for was not found.

  • DanielCoffey
  • 25 days ago

I think there is a "not" missing in the paragraph beginning "One real possibility"...

  • nstrudwick
  • 21 days ago

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