EE vs Vodafone vs Three vs O2 test: Has your network just come out on top?

If you want access to the fastest of all superfast 5G networks, it appears that EE is your best bet. The provider, which was first to launch 5G in the UK last year, has been crowned the winner in the latest tests by RootMetrics.

According to the latest tests from RootMetrics, EE’s 5G offers the best combination of fast data speeds for downloads and uploads on-the-move. It also has the widest 5G coverage in the UK right now, the tests concluded.

Despite almost all of the main networks now operating a 5G network, it seems these rivals cannot quite match EE. In fact, according to RootMetrics the firm’s highest 5G availability is more than double that of the next placed operator.

EE now has 5G in more places than any other network, including Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds & Bradford, Leicester, London, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield. As well as being in more places, the tests also showed that EE is the fastest with the network achieving the fastest aggregate median speed of all operators at 42.6 Mbps, while its aggregate median speeds in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland were faster than all the other networks.

Speaking about the award, Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer business division, said: “Delivering the best mobile experience for our customers has never been more important. Being recognised as the UK’s best network for the seventh year running reflects our continued investment in keeping our customers connected to the things that matter most.

“RootMetrics’ 5G testing shows that we are a long way ahead in terms of 5G performance, and our engineers are continuing to build new sites every day to bring the latest mobile technology to even more people.”

Although this is good news for those with an EE 5G contract, it’s worth remembering that this technology is still in its infancy and still has a long way to go before it’s available in every corner of the country. In fact, despite the impressive nationwide coverage from EE, it’s still pretty hard to find a strong 5G signal unless you’re in one of the main towns or cities. And even then, speeds and signal strength vary wildly from street to street.

It’s also worth noting that EE is one of the only operators in the test that charges a premium for its 5G coverage, with many of its rivals – such as O2 and Three – throwing in support for the superfast mobile network at no extra cost with all of its pay monthly and SIM-only plans.


Depending on where you are in the country it’s possible to get an average 4G speed of around 20-30Mbps. That’s as fast as most fixed-line broadband and would allow you to download an HD movie in around 20 minutes.

If you are very lucky, it is possible to get 4G speeds of around 400Mbps although this isn’t something many consumers will have ever experienced.

5G takes things to a new level with average speeds exceeding 100Mbps.

It’s also very likely that, in the future, some users will experience speeds nearing 1Gbps with an HD movie downloading in under 40 seconds.

On a recent test, managed to see speeds of over 300Mbps.

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