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Belfast tops list of UK's best mobile networks

Friday, April 28th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The UK’s best-performing mobile network is in Belfast, a new report has revealed.

Analysis of network performance tests in the UK’s 16 most populated metro areas by RootMetrics saw the Northern Irish city come out on top.

Belfast ranked first for network speed, data and text performance, giving it the edge over Manchester in terms of overall performance.

Manchester ranked highest for reliability and call performance, and finished a close second overall with Liverpool third.

Cardiff ranked lowest in all but one category, with Bristol and Hull also consistently in the bottom three.

But RootMetrics said even the worst performing cities have something to be proud of – improvement.

In Cardiff, for example, all four mobile operators – O2, Vodafone, EE and Three – recorded faster median download and upload speeds than in previous tests.

“In fact, the UK overall has seen steady operator improvement over the past several years,” said the report, “which will help keep up with the increasing network demands in years to come as we become increasingly connected not to just our mobiles but also our other network devices at home and in the office.”

London finished 13th out of 16 metro areas and according to the report “has historically underperformed compared to what we’ve found in other markets during testing dating back to 2014”.

“The story remained the same in the second half of 2016. The drop in rankings, however, doesn’t necessarily tell the full story.

“Indeed, all four operators in London actually showed signs of improvement, from better blocked call rates to stronger download speeds and data reliability.”

Last week, a report by OpenSignal claimed it is “a lot easier” to find a 4G signal in the UK than it was six months ago.

The company’s latest State of Mobile Networks report said the four national operators had all seen “substantial bumps” in availability.

OpenSignal said EE, O2 and Vodafone customers could get 4G around two-thirds of the time, while 4G is available to Three customers around half the time.

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