EE has been crowned the UK’s best mobile network, beating its rivals in all areas of service from call quality to network reliability and internet speed - but one network has urged its users to ignore the results.
Conducted by RootMetric, what is claimed to be the most comprehensive study into UK mobile performance ever undertaken found EE won, or tied for first place, in every category, while Vodafone was last in all but one area of the study.
In response to the findings, Vodafone told Mobile Choice: 'We cannot take the results of this report seriously and neither should our customers.'
A Vodafone spokesman added that the testing 'does not appear to follow standard industry practices or is fully impartial, while it also incorporates data some of which may well be over six months old.'
Described as an independent mobile analytics firm, RootMetrics collected more than 840,000 samples equating to roughing one sample for every 100 mobile phone contracts in the UK. The company visited England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, driving more than 23,000 miles to gather data from every corner of the UK.
During the study, off-the-shelf mobile phones were tested outdoors, while driving, and at more than 1,000 indoor locations.
Overall performance was best with EE, which was given a RootMetrics score of 84.6, followed by Three at 73.5, O2 at 66.5 and Vodafone, which scored 52.4.
EE also topped the call, mobile internet, text messaging, network reliability and network speed categories, while Vodafone came last in all but one of these, having been ranked third for network speed, ahead of Three.
When broken down by country, a similar pattern emerged, with EE top and Vodafone in fourth; the only exception was network speed in Scotland, where Vodafone was second to EE, while Three was third and O2 came fourth.
'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. No other study of this size and scale for mobile performance has ever been carried out before in the UK, and it has, for the first time, shown consumers the true services they are receiving from their network provider.'
EE chief executive Olaf Swantee said: 'Today’s results show that the EE network gives customers everywhere in the UK the best mobile experience... We encourage the most rigorous independent testing of mobile networks in the UK, and strive to set new standards in performance and reliability.'