HomeInsightsExclusive: Vodafone UK's Head of Mobile Networks defends performance

    Exclusive: Vodafone UK’s Head of Mobile Networks defends performance


    Vodafone UK’s Head of Mobile Networks has defended the operator’s performance, amid criticism from the country’s regulator and testing companies such as RootMetrics.

    Even Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao has chided the opco over the state of its network. He remarked last year that it was time for the network to “muscle up” and said during its results presentation last month that the UK was still “not yet” at the level it should be.

    The operator launched Project Spring, a £19 billion initiative to sharpen its network performance worldwide, two years ago.

    But according to RootMetrics’ 2014 report into the UK market, Vodafone was dubbed the worst performing network, although it scored higher than Three for LTE.

    Further, Ofcom measured LTE quality in five cities last year and found Vodafone as the third best performer out of four. However, a report released in April, which also looked at LTE in five different cities, recorded an improvement in several performance metrics.

    In an exclusive interview with Mobile Europe, Petek Ergul defends the company’s network performance, saying it has improved since she was appointed to the role in 2014.

    She says: “It’s not enough to claim that you have certain coverage; you need to consider the lifestyle of your customer. What they care about, in my opinion, is rather than how fast your connectivity is, it’s whether you can continue to do what you want to do where you want to do it.”

    Each of Vodafone’s 30 markets holds independent drive tests to monitor the health of the network. Ergul believes these provide a better way of measuring performance than other tests, because it tracks a fixed set of criteria and can be compared to other global markets.

    However, she says she is not dismissing the findings of other market reports. “What I do generally, when RootMetrics or any other drive test publication comes out, is I look at my network performance for that period that they drew out,” she explains.

    “I try to correlate whether we had an outage or whether we did so many changes to the network that maybe it coincided [with an issue]. I try to understand what the underlying issues are that need to be taken seriously and have something done about them…I use it as information but I can see from the information that I look at, as there is so much of it, that there are significant improvements in the network.”

    You can read the full interview in the next issue of Mobile Europe magazine, which will be published later this month. Click here to ensure you get your copy