The results of GWS’ first UK mobile network test finds geographical and functional differences between the big four

LONDON, 8th November 2016: Global Wireless Solutions, Inc. (GWS) has released the results of its first UK-wide mobile network test today, using its consumer usage derived OneScore ranking to provide a thorough breakdown of what UK consumers can expect when they sign up to their mobile network. The results show that EE wins overall, Three takes top honours for voice performance, and consumers in the North of England get the best 4G coverage on O2.

Social media

Of every 6 minutes spent online, Brits spend 1 on social media, and over half of those minutes are on a mobile phone. GWS analysed the results of the testing for social media activity and applied its consumer defined OneScore ranking methodology to give consumers a better idea of the day-to-day performance of their network. EE came out on top with the highest Social Media OneScore ranking and O2 came in second.

Overall results

In GWS’ test, EE was top overall when looking at Overall OneScore, a combined ranking of mobile internet and voice. O2 and Vodafone then draw for second place winning the same number of cities across the UK wide test, with Three very close behind.

While EE can claim the overall and mobile data wins, Three’s network ranked top for both voice quality and call performance, making it ideal for Brits with their phones glued to their ear and highlighting the varying strengths of the UK’s mobile network operators. However, Three did not fare so well on the mobile data side finishing last in GWS’ Packet OneScore.

King in the North

The data revealed that where you live can make a difference to the service you will receive. O2 was crowned ‘King in the North’ due to its 4G performance in the major Northern cities on test. The operator provided the highest percentage of connection time on 4G and had the highest number of ‘perfect’ mobile internet reliability scores in the North of England too. EE claimed the number 1 spot in the South of England for 4G connection time.

A first for the UK’s mobile networks

GWS’ nationwide drive is the first time both Android and iOS devices have been tested together, making it the most comprehensive look at the UK’s mobile network to date, analysing the performance experienced by 97% of handsets in the UK. These tests also consider the quality of voice call connections as well as reliability.

This program also marks the UK debut of GWS’ OneScore, a ranking system based on real world consumer behaviour. GWS surveyed 2,000 British consumers on how, why and where they use their phones. For example, the survey revealed that over half (58%) of consumers would consider changing operators if they had a bad mobile signal. Furthermore, and despite the growth in mobile data services, over half the consumers (53%) still consider voice calls to be the most important part of their mobile experience. The survey also found that reliability in delivering text messages and completing data tasks were the most important areas of network performance for consumers when using their mobile data services. The results from GWS’ survey were used to weight the data collected according to its importance to consumers and to provide a true breakdown of network performance for the typical end user.

Dr. Paul Carter, CEO of Global Wireless Solutions, commented:

“We are proud to be bringing our internationally recognised mobile network testing rigour to the UK for our first nationwide network test. For consumers and businesses alike, the question of which network best suits their needs is nuanced and depends on where you live, what you use your phone for and even which phone you use. Our independent test provides British consumers with an unbiased view as to which mobile network can best support their needs.”

“By using the state-of-the-art Android and iOS devices we have collected the most thorough data set to date, and we are committed to presenting the results in a way that is relatable and linked closely to the real world experience of the end consumer.”


GWS conducted this series of tests to evaluate mobile network performance across the United Kingdom. 987,000 data and voice task tests were conducted to evaluate the network performance of O2, EE, Three and Vodafone in 17 major cities, in August and September 2016. The tests were conducted using the GWS Mobile Diagnostic App running on iPhone 6s devices, and the SwissQual powered by Rohde & Schwarz’s (SwissQual QualiPoc) Freerider using Samsung S6s to gather data.

About Global Wireless Solutions, Inc.

Global Wireless Solutions, Inc. defines the industry standard for network benchmarking, analysis and testing. Its proprietary OneScore network ranking combines high-level network testing data with real world network usage scenarios to make the results of testing relatable and easy to understand. Working with some of the world’s largest wireless network providers, GWS offers standardised, high-quality network data and engineering analysis through a suite of benchmarking products, services, and diagnostic apps that includes drive, venue, and in-building testing.

Firmly rooted in a deep understanding of network engineering, GWS provides best-in-class, turnkey solutions to help customers better understand overall network performance as today’s wireless networks grow and evolve. Founded in 1996, GWS is headquartered in Dulles, VA. At last count, GWS has driven over 10 million data collection miles for its customers. For more information, visit
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