Awards, Barometers

EE, the best mobile Internet performances in the UK

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Barometer of mobile Internet connections in the United Kingdom / H2 2021 – H1 2022

🏆EE provided the best mobile Internet performances in 🏆
the United Kingdom, during the last two semesters.

Image of the summary table png2000 & png500.

The nPerf score, expressed in nPoints, gives an overall picture of the quality of a connection. It takes into account the measured bitrates (2/3 on download + 1/3 on upload), the latency and is affected by QoE tests equally (browsing / streaming). This score reflects the overall quality of the connection felt by the user.

The nPerf analysis

This study is based on tests carried out by users of the nPerf mobile application, available for free on iOS and Android.

Between July 1st, 2021 and June 30th, 2022 we counted inthe UK 126 479 tests, distributed as follows, after filtering:

The overall distribution of the tests per provider is as follows:

EE keeps on ruling the UK’s mobile Internet.

Thanks to its victory on all of the measures studied, except the downlink speed (and the shared win on the latency with O2), this provider leads the race in our latest barometer. Thanks to some good improvements on the average speeds (download & upload), its score collects 5.300 additional nPoints since 2020 (+10.3%).

Moreover, despite meagre progresses throughout this years on web browsing and video streaming, it remains the unchallenged king of the QoE tests.

EE provided the best performance rate in mobile Internet browsing (70%), during the last two semesters. That means the third victory in a row for this ISP in our UK mobile barometers.

The browsing test allows the user to accurately measure the loading time of the 5 websites most frequented by local Internet users (YouTube is excluded from this test as it is subject to the following test). It is calculated considering the loading time of the page. A page loaded in 10 seconds or more gets a 0% performance rate and a page loaded instantly gets a performance rate of 100%. For example, a page loaded in 2 seconds will get a performance rate of 80%.

EE provided the best performance rate in mobile video streaming (81%), during the last two semesters.

The goal of the streaming test is to measure the quality of video viewing on the most popular streaming platform around the world: YouTube. It is calculated considering all the time required to load the video (before or during playback). If the ratio between the duration of the video and the overall reading time (reading + loading) tends to 1 then the performance index will tend towards 100%. And conversely, the more the ratio moves away from 1, the more the index will tend towards 0%.

Three threatens the champion.

Actually, the strongest nPerf score increase of the last year is for Three: + 13 980 points (+22%). This ISP has the highest 5G connection rate and the best download bitrates, thus it finishes in second position.

Statistics based on 33 102 tests performed on 5G compatible terminals allowing the identification of the 5G technology (Android only). For each operator, the number of tests performed in 5G is divided by the total number of cellular tests. In other words, this rate corresponds to the probability of being connected in 5G with an operator.

Three subscribers enjoyed the best average mobile download speed (86 Mb/s), during the last two semesters.

Three has managed to surpass EE, winner of 2020, probably thanks to its higher rate of 5G connections. Three’s increase since 2019 is spectacular (x 4), meanwhile EE’s average bitrate has doubled, and O2 and Vodafone evolutions’ are almost null.

Furthermore, Three has shown the strongest enhancements of the four on many indicators. This trend is very encouraging, and EE should be aware of it from now on.

Vodafone falls to the third position after conceding almost 1 000 nPoints in eighteen months.

Its figures stagnates in download and upload speed, it records a worse latency than before and doesn’t evolve enough in the QoE performances. With no victory to its credit, and the lowest evolution of the four national ISP, it now situates as far from the second step than from the last of our ranking.

O2 finishes at the bottom of the ranking once again.

Its results in download and upload speed, in particular, are far lower than its competitors’. The score gap with its rivals is still too large to compete. To its credit, it obtains a shared win on the latency with EE with a nice performance. O2 records the second best score increase since 2020, right after Three!

nPerf offers a free application for testing the quality of the Internet connection, downloadable for free on Android and iOS (Apple) mobile devices. Everyone is free to use this app to measure the quality of their mobile connection. The panel of this study is formed by the users of the nPerf application in the United Kingdom. 

Thus, the nPerf study is based on the thousands of tests carried out monthly, exclusively by the operators’ end customers, which makes it the “crowdsourced” study based on one of the largest panels of the country.

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