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EE named top mobile operator again, despite complaint handling failures

Tuesday, July 28th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

EE has beaten its rivals to be named the top-performing operator yet again by mobile analytics company Rootmetrics.

The UK’s largest operator earned the highest overall score in the RootMetrics 1st Half 2015 UK Mobile Network Performance Review, topping the table for categories including overall performance, network reliability, network speed, mobile internet, call and text.

EE was recently named the best performing operator in London for the third year in a row and the company also beat its rivals during RootMetrics tests at Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium and at three London airports.

But just last month, the operator was fined £1m by telecoms regulator Ofcom for breaking its rules on customer complaint handling.

RootMetrics, which analyses mobile network performance, distils results from scientific, independent, and consumer-focused tests into ‘RootScores’ to allow people to compare networks at a glance.

The higher the RootScore, the better the mobile internet reliability and speed.

EE earned the highest overall RootScore Award, with 89.4 out of 100, followed by Three (84.7), Vodafone (74.5), and O2 (72.7).

The report looks at major mobile operators’ network performance for the UK as a whole, in each of the four UK nations, and in the 16 largest UK metro areas.

All operators showed areas of improvement in the biannual report, RootMetrics said.

Along with EE’s success, Three earned second-place finishes in five of six categories, coming in just behind EE in reliability, while Vodafone improved its ranking in overall performance, and moved ahead of Three to rank second in network speed.

O2 finished last outright or tied for last place in five of six categories on the UK level, although scoring was often close, RootMetrics said.

'Heated battle'

It said the report shows a competitive UK mobile market in which the race for 4G plays a strong role.

Highlights suggest that EE’s expanded 4G footprint contributed to better mobile internet reliability, while Vodafone has seen improved speed performance as it rolls out 4G.

O2’s reliability is also expected to improve markedly as its 4G network expands and matures.

Chris Smith, RootMetrics general manager for Europe, said: “EE is continuing to come out on top for mobile performance, but there is a heated – and often close – battle with the other operators.

“Our growing reliance on our mobiles means network performance has a direct impact on our daily lives, and consumers deserve a comprehensive, unbiased, real-world picture of performance.

“From watching video on the go to taking part in Whatsapp conversations, we’re on our phones and when our connection is lousy, we notice.

“We want consumers and network operators to look at this report and use it to inform purchasing decisions and understand the areas where improvements can be made.”

To compile the data for the its report, RootMetrics collected 1.1m samples and drove nearly 24,000 miles – the equivalent of driving from Land’s End to John O’Groats nearly 28 times – during the first six months of this year.

Tests were conducted around the clock whilst driving, at stationary outdoor locations, and at nearly 1,500 indoor locations.

EE has predicted that it is on track to have more than 14m 4G customers by the end of the year.

Releasing its interim results for the six months ending 30 June, the company said it has 10.9m 4G customers, and its growth is helping maintain its “market leadership” in mobile revenue.

The company, which yesterday announced that Exmouth is south Devon had become the 600th town on its 4G network, has now rolled out 4G to 90% of the UK population, it said.

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