Mobile data analysis firm RootMetrics has found that UK-based operator EE’s 4G LTE roll-out is delivering on public promises and is a “measured success” when compared to similar roll-outs in the US.
Tests conducted in Liverpool, Cardiff and Sheffield in December to compare how 4G LTE performed against 3G services offered by EE and rival networks found that EE’s 4G LTE speeds are more than twice as fast as 3G in the three cities.
RoootMetrics previously conducted a 4G study in Manchester, which found that only 40 percent of the city had access to EE’s 4G LTE, with no coverage outside the city centre. Interestingly, the new study has not returned to find out if speeds have improved there.
The average download speed on EE’s 4G LTE network in Cardiff was 11.8 Mbps, while in Liverpool and Sheffield the speeds were 9.4 Mbps and 7.9 Mbps, which is on par with EE’s public claims that the average speed of its 4G LTE network would be 8-12 Mbps.
EE’s network was proved to be reliable, with 94 percent of data tests in Cardiff, 92.9 percent in Liverpool and 93.9 percent in Sheffield finishing successfully.
However, phones kept and made 4G LTE connections within the three cities 71.3 percent of the time in Cardiff, 58.7 percent in Liverpool and just 48.7 percent in Sheffield.
Despite the fact that the numbers are on the low end, according to RootMetrics, this is on par with the numbers seen from US networks when they launched new 4G LTE networks.
Bill Moore, CEO and President at RootMetrics commented: “When it comes to availability of EE 4G LTE in city centres, the picture is positive if not universally excellent.
“We see the percentage of 4G LTE improving in line with other launches, but there are some notable variations like people in Cardiff getting a better service than those in Sheffield, despite paying the same.”
RootMetrics said in its report that EE’s 4G LTE speeds are not taking “full advantage of 4G’s capabilities” compared to the US, where operators such as AT&T have been able to quadruple download speeds from 4.3 Mbps to 17.2 Mbps.
According to EE, its next gen network currently covers 45 percent of the population.
In January it was launched in nine towns; between April to June 2013, the operator plans to roll out across a further 27 towns.