According to new research from Ookla, the rollout of 5G in the UK is increasing speeds and customer satisfaction as more accessible next-generation networks become available. Median download speeds had remained stagnant in recent years, according to data collected through the company’s Speedtest app.
Over the following year, however, average speeds rose to 26.13Mbps in H1 2020 – a modest increase from 21.44Mbps in H1 2019 to 23.96Mbps in 2021 – before increasing further to 29.96Mbps in 2021. Given that the median LTE download speed decreased marginally to 23.01Mbps over the previous year, it’s clear 5G is having an impact on overall performance.
The fastest 5G UK speeds
“This boost in the U.K. during Q1-Q2 2021 is due to a giant surge in consumers switching to 5G service,” the company said.
“According to Speedtest Intelligence, nearly seventy thousand more customers performed a Speedtest over 5G in Q1-Q2 2021 than in Q3-Q4 2020. 5G is inherently faster, which boosts median download speeds and we suspect speeds will continue to improve as network operators continue to build out their 5G networks to reach more and more customers.”
Three had the fastest median 5G download speed of 231.07Mbps, followed by Vodafone’s 159.49Mbps, O2’s 155.4Mbps, and EE’s 11.74Mbps. This is partly due to access issues.
Customers are more pleased with their mobile carrier if they are on 5G than 4G, according to their net promoter scores (NPS).
The United Kingdom, on the other hand, is middling in terms of global performance. Median 5G download speeds of 167.38Mbps and 10.2% availability compare favorably with the rest of Europe, but they trail South Korea and China. The UK has faster download rates than the US (49.5 percent availability), which has lower upload rates than most of its main trading partners.
However, with operators still in the early phases of their rollouts, things will improve as coverage grows, technological upgrades are implemented, and new spectrum is utilized. According to a report from Opensignal this year, EE has the quickest speeds and Three has the greatest availability. Although this study was conducted using data gathered through a different method than previous research, it demonstrates how rapidly the market is changing.
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