Vodafone has criticised RootMetrics’ first national mobile performance study by claiming that findings should ‘not be taken seriously’ and that practices might not be ‘fully impartial’.
The study carried out by the mobile analytics company ranked the four main operators by call, mobile internet, text, network speed, and network reliability performance with EE finishing top in every aspect and Vodafone receiving the lowest overall performance with a 52.4 RootScore compared to EE’s 84.6.
The testing was carried out in the second half of 2013. O2 and Vodafone launched their ultrafast services in August, while Three didn’t begin rollout until December 2013.
A Vodafone spokesperson said: ‘We’d love to give a fully detailed response, but believe the way Root Metrics carried out its testing does not appear to follow standard industry practices or is fully impartial, while it also incorporates data some of which may well be over six months old. The evidence we have seen of how Root Metrics conducted some of its tests leads us to believe that they were carried out in an inconsistent manner. Those looking for more robust research should be approaching more established researchers, such as Ookla, who are completely independent and use hundreds of thousands of real, unbiased customers across the country for their results.’
‘We cannot take the results of this report seriously and neither should our customers.’
The operator finished last in the call, mobile internet, text and network reliability categories. RootMetrics claimed that it collected 840,000 samples across the UK and added that its testing was ‘completely independent’.
A RootMetrics spokesperson said: ‘RootMetrics’ testing is completely independent. To provide an explanation of how RootMetrics’ business model works, RootMetrics independently designs the methodology, selects the study areas and secures the phones used to test various areas across each country in the UK, then conducts and publishes the studies itself. Summary versions are released to the public on its website.
‘All the major mobile companies in the UK as well as governmental bodies, handset manufacturers or any other interested party have the option to purchase RootMetrics’ data after independent testing has taken place, to understand where issues and opportunities exist and – for networks – to make necessary changes to their network provision and customer products and services.’
Vodafone wasn’t the only network operator to question the data. Both O2 and Three said the findings were gathered when their 4G rollouts were in their infancy, or not even started in the case of Three.
An O2 spokesperson said: ‘We invest £1.5M every day in our network to continue our 4G roll-out and completely modernise our 2G and 3G networks. This work is delivering faster speeds and greater coverage across the UK, ensuring our customers continue to have a great network experience.’
Three finished second overall and a spokesman added: ‘This technical assessment was carried out prior to our launch of 4G at no extra cost, so is not up to speed with our current performance. Surveys of real customers carried out by YouGov currently rank us as number one for Smartphone, iPhone, Mobile Broadband and Tablet customer experience.’
Olaf Swantee, CEO of the number one ranked network EE, said: ‘Today’s results show that the EE network gives customers everywhere in the UK the best mobile experience. This is down to our ongoing investment in introducing 4G, increasing 3G capacity and upgrading 2G, while also spending hundreds of millions on phone call quality. We encourage the most rigorous independent testing of mobile networks in the UK, and strive to set new standards in performance and reliability.’