Which Mobile Provider Has The Best Coverage – Updated October 5: Latest / Which OpenSignal? UK Phone Speed Report Released The most notable change is that the EU has won all three performance crowns. All UK mobile operators have seen a big jump in 4G LTE download speeds this year, which is a good sign though. However, the coverage is still unclear.
UK 4G LTE coverage, you may not be surprised to hear, is not good, according to a new study.
Which Mobile Provider Has The Best Coverage
And OpenSignal. As of January 2016, overall LTE coverage in the UK was 53 per cent across the four operators, leaving the UK behind leading countries such as East Asia, Northern Europe and China and India. South Korea, the world leader, is on 97 percent of the LTE network.
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In terms of download speeds, things are slightly better in the UK, especially for Three. Over the past six months, according to data from OpenSignal, all three have managed to increase their 4G LTE download speeds from an average of 12 Mbps to 18.7 Mbps, a similar statistic to EE’s 17.8 Mbps. Almost certainly because three additional spectrums were added to the LTE network in mid-2015. Vodafone and O2 share third place with around 12 Mbps.
The coverage of three LTE networks (40%) is still much worse than EE (60%), which means that three users will often drop to 3G connections. The three 3G networks are the fastest in the UK, according to OpenSignal, with an average of 4.91 Mbps, but EE is not far behind at 4 Mbps (Vodafone is 4.4 Mbps, O2 3 Mbps).
OpenSignal collects mobile connection data from hundreds of thousands of users worldwide who download OpenSignal software. In the case of the latest UK report, OpenSignal says that 31,525 software users in the UK produced 60 million data points between November 2015 and January 2016. That’s pretty decent data, but probably not enough to get a good idea of coverage/speed. Across the English countryside.
Instead of geographic coverage or population. Measure, just like in the app, how long – in seconds and minutes – you’re connected to an LTE signal. OpenSignal says it offers a more “user-friendly” approach to coverage. For what it’s worth, the EU claims to cover 95 percent of the UK population, which beats OpenSignal’s 60 percent target.
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Given the low LTE coverage in the UK, the latest OpenSignal data points to a conclusion: try to choose a mobile service provider with a good LTE network in your town or city. OpenSignal has tools to check worldwide 3G and 4G coverage: Try it.
Spread/cover global LTE according to OpenSignal. Note that the UK is far off the list.
The chart above shows LTE coverage measured by OpenSignal in 68 countries in February 2016, with the UK ranked 55th. This is only an estimate from one data source, so we should take it with a grain of salt. But still assuming OpenSignal didn’t make a serious statistical mistake, it’s notable that the UK is so far behind countries of a similar size as the Netherlands (84% of LTE networks). And population density – or really big countries like China (76%) and the United States (81%). All are anemic compared to South Korea, which ranks at 97 percent LTE coverage.
It should be noted that the UK is ahead of France (51%) and Ireland (44%) and behind Italy (57%) and Germany (56%), so we are not the only country lagging behind.
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But why is Britain so far behind? It’s hard to say. It’s an opportunity for the country’s mobile operators to remain cautious after bidding for the most expensive 3G spectrum at the turn of the millennium, and following the crash of telecom giants in 2001. It’s another option after spending a lot on 3G releases. In the 2000s, carriers are in no rush to spend additional money on LTE infrastructure. That could change now that EE and Three are pushing hard for 4G LTE. The results of the proposed Three-O2 merger could also be important, as the combined company will have more spectrum to play with.
Sebastian Anthony Sebastian is a writer for Ars Technica UK. He usually writes about hardware, software and low-end logistics, but Opensignalis is the one with the latest research on 5G coverage and processing in the US. In the first half of 2021, T-Mobile will continue to lead the 5G race in terms of availability and mid-range speeds. But AT&T and Verizon may beat the Uncarrier with 5G gaming and video experiences. And an interesting finding is how users rarely connect to mmWave 5G.
Opensignal shared its April 2021 user experience report and “Qualified mmWave 5G Experience” report.
The study is based on millions of units and millions of measurements taken in the US from December 2020 to April 2021.
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A closer look at the fastest 5G coverage, mmWave, shows that Verizon continues to have the fastest average peak speeds – ~3x faster than T-Mobile or AT&T.
Verizon has invested the most in mmWave, but the downside is that the range is smaller than the mid-range and lower-end 5G spectrum that T-Mobile and AT&T have targeted.
The entire iPhone 12 family in the US supports mmWave 5G. But the real expectations are that drawing on three mmWave carriers is only available / uses a small fraction of the time – less than 1%. That’s compared to users connected to T-Mobile’s full 5G coverage 33% of the time (including midrange and lower bands).
Looking at the overall picture of 5G in the US, T-Mobile has retained its crown in 5G availability/download speed and hosting speed. However, AT&T has now won the award for the best 5G video and audio experience and has teamed up with Verizon for the best gaming experience.
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Looking at availability, T-Mobile users were connected to 5G 33.1% of the time in this test. AT&T landed with 20.5% availability and Verizon had just 11.2%. All three show improvement in 5G availability since Opensignal’s Q4 2020 report, but only by a small percentage.
5G Reach represents the proportion of locations where 5G users have connected to 5G, out of all locations where users have been on a scale of 0-10. This metric complements our existing 5G availability metrics, which represent the proportion of time 5G users spend connected to 5G.
When it comes to 5G video experience, AT&T has taken the top spot, ahead of Verizon, which won Opensignal’s latest survey. The report indicates that only speed affects video playback:
Our data confirms that speed alone is not enough to give users a great video streaming experience, and we see another example of this report as T-Mobile ranks last in its video experience category. We also beat our 5G download speeds by a wide margin.
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The 5G gaming experience limits the number of real-time mobile gaming experiences on mobile devices connected to a 5G network. A good rating means that most users experience no lag between their activities and the game, and overall the gaming experience is manageable.
T-Mobile’s average download speed rose 13 Mbps last quarter to 71.3, while AT&T’s was 1.1 Mbps and Verizon just 0.3 Mbps.
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Michael’s editor since joining in 2016, he has written over 3,000 articles, including breaking news, reviews and detailed comparisons and lectures. Verizon vs AT&T vs T-Mobile vs Sprint Speed coverage and network availability tests are the most popular, they are carried out by US companies, the method is often preferred by that company or the operator in question. Even unintentionally. Crowdsourced sources, which rely on single speed tests to aggregate major cities, place carriers with wider rural coverage in more difficult locations in terms of average speeds.
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Of all the test methods for US carriers, riding around with available equipment is probably the best way to ensure that the correct representative model is definitively tested. That’s why Verizon prefers to cite results from RootMetrics, and T-Mobile prides itself on data gathered from OpenSignal.
The next best thing, however, is crowdsourced data from a non-US testing company that doesn’t rely on tech users to install a single speed test software, but is already integrated with over 800 different apps. Report 24/7. That’s exactly the case with German telecommunications consultancy P3, whose test algorithm is on the phones of 2.3 million American mobile customers. Between June and August, nearly 35 billion samples were recorded from speech programs covering 88.6% of “construction sites” in the United States.
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