RootMetrics today released their mobile performance report for the second half of 2016, highlighting significant improvements in performances of the big four networks, namely EE, Vodafone, Three and O2. While increased reach of 4G services ensured that 7 million more Brits could access them, the reliability of 4G services also grew by 8% compared to the first half of 2016.
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EE continued to dominate RootMetrics scores like before, winning all the awards on overall performance, reliability, speed, data, text and call performance across the UK. Vodafone drew with EE for the first place in Text and Call performance in Northern Ireland and Scotland, Three drew with EE on Reliability scores in Wales and O2 won the Call and Text Awards in Northern Ireland along with EE. As such, almost every network caught up with EE at the top in certain categories and regions.
Overall, all four networks displayed significant improvements in their services compared to the first half of 2016. Call drops were fewer and downloading and uploading data were faster and more reliable than before. Despite such improvements, networks like Three have been campaigning for limits to spectrum ownership to ensure that all networks can compete effectively and fairly.
“One of the main causes of the UK’s poor 4G coverage has been the historic imbalance in mobile airwaves. Ofcom’s proposed spectrum auction rules will only make the situation worse by allowing that imbalance to continue beyond the next auction. We’ll face the same issues with the rollout of 5G with consumers and businesses suffering as a result,” said a Three spokesperson.
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Three, along with some other networks, have highlighted the fact that there should be more competition in the UK mobile space which will in turn encourage better customer service, lower prices and more choices to customers. The next batch of mobile spectrum auction is about to commence, and the consortium wants mobile phone users to petition to Sharon White, CEO at Ofcom, to ensure that no mobile network can own any more than 30% of UK's mobile airwaves.
EE, on the other hand, are asking other mobile network operators to use geographical coverage as the standard industry measurement to let consumers know where they can make calls and use mobile data. EE support their talk with the results of a recent survey which revealed that because of confusion about mobile network coverage, consumers are developing false expectations about where to make calls or use data, especially in rural areas.