EE crowned UK's best mobile operator - Vodafone in last place

Study of 840,000 samples by analytics firm RootMetric ranked EE best for reliability, speed, coverage, call performance and data

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The Independent Tech

EE has been named the best mobile operator in the UK and Vodafone the worst in a comprehensive study by UK mobile analytics firm RootMetric.

More than 840,000 tests were made covering reliability and speed of voice, text, and internet data. The six month study, looking at roughly one sample for every hundred mobile contracts, found that EE ranked first in every category.

The operator, which was first to offer customers 4G and formed from the merger of T-Mobile UK and Orange UK in 2010, was followed closely by Three in terms of reliability, mobile internet and text services, while O2 came second in the speed tests and call performance.

Vodafone, which was last in all the categories apart from network speed, said that it could not “take the results of this report seriously and neither should our customers". The company also suggested that some tests were "carried out in an inconsistent manner” in a statement.

RootMetrics did not give average speeds for networks because there was so much geographical diversity, although the company does offer a coverage map so that customers can see which operator offers the best service in their area.

“These results give UK consumers and businesses the most accurate view of mobile performance in the UK that has ever been made available,” said RootMetrics CEO and President Bill Moore. “From nation to neighbourhood, people now have access to data showing them the best network in their area.”

The tests were carried out using off-the-shelf Android handsets with the company’s analytic software installed. Moore says that the aim of the study was to get as close to consumer conditions as possible, telling the BBC that “[it’s] all very well to test speeds, but if you can't get on the network then the speed becomes irrelevant.”

Moore said that the UK suffered badly from dropped calls compared to the US, with a failure rate of 2 per cent compared to America’s 0.5 per cent.