/ Talking Points

UK Networks: Who's the fastest?

We all know speed and reliability is vital when Broadcasting using mobile networks. It's the difference between a smooth experience or a horrible one. Here's a look at the UK network providers and how they compare.

EE is top of OpenSignal’s ranking for peak speed tests in the UK, but the rest aren’t too far behind. Well, aside from O2 that is.

This is a slightly misleading metric as the chances of getting fastest possible speeds on our devices is unlikely, but it's a good guideline. The results themselves were taken as an average, examining only the fastest LTE tests collected from OpenSignal’s user community. The average peak speeds are as follows:

  1. EE - 136.1 Mbps
  2. Vodafone - 113.3 Mbps
  3. Three - 94.1 Mbps
  4. O2 - 69.6 Mbps

This doesn't look good for the guys at O2, but there is a glimmer of hope.

“O2 had the lowest peak speed of 69.6 Mbps (nearly half that of EE’s) in our analysis, which is an indication of more limited LTE resources,” said OpenSignal’s Kevin Fitchard.

“The good news is that O2 seems to be managing those resources well. It’s peak speeds were about 4.5 times faster than its average tested 4G speed of 15.1 Mbps. O2 may not have a lot of capacity compared to its competitors, but it’s able to consistently deliver that capacity to its customers, according to our data.”

Talking about peak speed is all well and good, but considering those who in the city will have to deal with congestion on the network and those in the countryside will have to deal with weaker signal, it is a bit of a pointless exercise. A more accurate measurement would be the average 4G download speed, which OpenSignal has done for us as well.

  1. EE - 29 Mbps
  2. Three - 22.3 Mbps
  3. Vodafone - 18.8 Mbps
  4. O2 - 15 Mbps

This paints a bit of a more accurate picture, but doesn’t sound anywhere near as attractive. As you can see, EE is still at the top of the pack, with O2 coming in last.

One final metric which might be worth considering is coverage, and this might be the saving grace for O2.

  1. EE - 78.46%
  2. O2 - 74.17%
  3. Vodafone - 71.35%
  4. Three - 57.14%

Again, EE is the clear winner here. So does this mean EE is the best network when it comes to broadcasting? Not necessarily. The truth is, speed will greatly vary depending on where you are. There are a few factors to take into consideration, such as how close you are to a cell tower or how many people are connected.

You could use OpenSignal's coverage maps to see which network would be best for your location, but even then you can run into trouble with unforeseen outages.

The best option? Broadcast SIM, of course.

With Broadcast SIM you don't have to worry about who has the fastest or most reliable network, it can connect to all of them. Our SIMs will automatically connect to the network with strongest signal in your area, removing all of the guess work involved.

We understand that the strongest signal isn't always the best, which is why we give you complete control over your SIMs with our powerful client portal. If a network is providing you with connectivity issues, you can disconnect and jump on to the next one.

And that's just the beginning!

To find out more about how we can help, take a look at our homepage for more information about Broadcast SIM and get in touch.