We asked consumers to rate their mobile phone network based on its coverage for voice and data and they dished the dirt on the good, the bad and the unconnected...
It’s been an amazing year for EE. As the UK lagged behind numerous global markets in the rollout of 4G, EE’s decision to move first galvanised all those involved. And having bagged that first 4G offering it didn’t waste the opportunity. Launching into 11 cities initially (and having already boosted that number to 117 towns and cities at the time of writing), it set a pace that leaves O2, Vodafone and Three playing catch-up. On top of that, EE has completely overhauled its retail portfolio, launched a new brand and put us all one degree closer to Kevin Bacon. But 4G is now at the centre of everything it does, and it has walked the tightrope of cost versus service very well. Network performance also improved, with only 14 percent ranking it as poor or average, meaning the overwhelming majority of customers felt it was quite good, very good or excellent.
Three is an amazing catalyst for change in the UK market. Acting as the consumer’s friend, its priceconscious tariffs keep its bigger rivals on their toes, especially when it comes to data. That will continue with its 4G rollout in four cities in December (expanding to 42 cities by 2014), as any existing customer with a 4G-compatible device will get the service for no extra charge. Its network performance also got a big thumbs up this year, with 64 percent rating it very good or excellent.
Customers are, on the whole, happy with the coverage and quality of service they get from O2, ranking it as quite good (22 percent), very good (41 percent) and excellent (24 percent). O2 also successfully launched its 4G network in three cities in August 2013 (London, Leeds and Bradford), with the promise that a further 10 cities will go live by the end of 2013. Telefónica UK said its £550m investment ‘underpins our commitment to ensure the widest and deepest possible reach for new services’.
Vodafone will be disappointed to lose its title having won this award in 2012, although a very respectable 55 percent still rated it very good or excellent. However, the operator will be hoping for big things with 4G, having splashed out £802m to secure the widest portfolio of spectrum in Ofcom’s auction. Vodafone says its 4G network will reach 13 cities by the end of 2013 and bring indoor coverage to 98 percent of the UK population by 2015.
Congratulations to all of the winners. You can find all of the incriminating photos on our official MCAwards 2013 website, and a full list of the 2013 Mobile Choice Award winners can be found here!