OpenSignal delivers one of the most comprehensive reports on the state of UK mobile networks, and in its latest one it’s found that Three is in the top two for 4G download speeds in ten out of eleven UK regions.
The report splits the UK into South East, South West, London, West Midlands, East of England, Wales, East Midlands, North West, Yorkshire and Humber, North East and Scotland, and only in London was Three not first or second.
Even there, it wasn’t last, with average 4G speeds of 14.5Mbps, topping O2’s 9.4Mbps. Three’s best showing came in the North East, where it was the fastest network with speeds of 30Mbps. In fact, that was almost the fastest average speed shown by any network in any region, topped only by EE, which recorded speeds of 30.3Mbps in Scotland.
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that EE was Three’s main rival across the UK, just beating it to the number one spot in most regions.
However, the fact that the two networks were so close in almost all regions is slightly surprising, given that Three is the UK’s smallest network.
This follows on from a recent report looking at the UK as a whole, which found that Three had made the most coverage gains, and that every network except EE had got marginally faster.
These results also line up with recent studies carried out by RootMetrics, which has found that Three has made considerable gains this year, not just in terms of speed, but also for calls and reliability.
In light of all that perhaps these reports shouldn’t be such a surprise, as Three (along with O2 and Vodafone) are seemingly gaining on EE.
Closing the remaining speed gap could be tough for Three, as EE can leverage its LTE-Advanced infrastructure, which Three doesn’t currently have, but with average 4G download speeds of above 22Mbps everywhere except London on Three, the difference between these two networks may not be that noticeable.
Right now, Three’s focus should perhaps be on London, as that’s a key area, and the only one in which the network is really lagging behind.