New RootMetrics analysis exposes reality of UK 5G networks

Independent testing company RootMetrics has published a detailed 5G report that found 5G networks are performing well in numerous UK cities, although coverage varies across networks.

EE’s 5G network was found to offer “the best combination of fast speeds and broad coverage”. It was the only operator with 5G in all 16 cities tested, with median download speeds consistently fast (and much faster than those on 4G LTE) in every city.

EE’s slowest 5G speed was 103.9 Mbps (in Nottingham) and its fastest 5G speed was 145.9 Mbps (in Newcastle). In addition, the report found EE had “the highest 5G availability in each of the 16 markets we tested”.

O2 and Vodafone were found to “provide limited 5G coverage”, although Vodafone’s 5G was “consistently fast”. O2’s 5G availability was found to have the lowest among all networks, with RootMetrics only able to collect enough test samples to accurately characterise O2’s 5G median download speed in one city (Belfast, at 121.3 Mbps).

Vodafone’s 5G was found to be relatively limited, but the speeds were found to be “excellent—and consistent—in most markets”. 5G median download speeds were of at least 112 Mbps in 9 of the 10 markets in which Vodafone had 5G.

Three was found to have “impressive speeds on 5G but limited availability”. Three’s 5G network clocked the single fastest 5G median and maximum download speeds among all operators at 193.7 Mbps and 478.1 Mbps, respectively, yet its highest 5G availability was 15.4%.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer business, said, “Delivering the best mobile experience for our customers has never been more important. Being recognised as the UK’s best network for the seventh year running reflects our continued investment in keeping our customers connected to the things that matter most.

“RootMetrics’ 5G testing shows that we are a long way ahead in terms of 5G performance, and our engineers are continuing to build new sites every day to bring the latest mobile technology to even more people.”

RootMetrics carried out 537,780 tests across 16 cities in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The full report is available here.