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GWS study: consumers opt for reliability over speed as O2 retains top spot

Paul Lipscombe
February 6, 2020

O2 topped the rankings in half of the locations tested for network reliability

Consumers have overwhelmingly said that network reliability is more desirable than faster speeds as O2 retains top spot for most reliable UK network. 

According to a study carried out by Global Wireless Solutions, (GWS) consumers ranked the importance of reliability to speed at a ratio of 40:1. 

The results for the report was gathered by GWS’ engineers who collected close to one million data and voice task tests on both iOS and Android devices. 

This study was also helped thanks to nationwide focus groups, which were carried out in partnership with Jigsaw Research plus consumer research that polled over 2,000 smartphone users through YouGov. 

Despite the preference for reliability over speed, the operators met customer expectations on speed 96 per cent of the time, according to the study, with the report revealing the ‘sweet spot’ of network speed being between four and six seconds. 

However despite the operators meeting the expectations of their customers, more than half of respondents (56 per cent) that they ‘usually’ encounter problems with their network. 

O2 tops the reliability charts

O2 came out on top for the four UK operators for reliability, placing first in half (18) of the 36 locations that were tested in the UK. 

EE came a close second with 14 locations, followed by Vodafone with four and Three bottom with zero. Three did not rank as the most reliable network in any of the towns or cities that were tested. 

As for the cities, Liverpool and Cardiff were ranked as the most reliable for network connectivity. However Leeds, Edinburgh, Sunderland and London scored the worst. 

Commenting on the report, GWS founder and CEO Paul Carter said: “The need for speed is an ongoing conversation in the industry and seems to be the de facto benchmark when measuring network success. 

“But that model is broken – while the advance of 5G brings with it exciting innovations that will undoubtedly change the way we use our phones, just like 4G did a few years ago, using your smart phone is not a race. Consumers are not just using their phones for speed hungry activities.” 

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