Belfast now boasts the fastest and most reliable mobile network performance throughout the UK’s cities. In dire contrast, Hull and London were both vying for the last place in the reliability rankings.
According to RootMetrics’ survey of 16 metropolitan conurbations only Leicester beat Belfast for speed and the Northern Ireland capital was ranked second for phone call reliability, behind Manchester.
RootMetrics looks at five categories in its survey: data, reliability, speed, call and text. Taking all of these metrics into account, overall Belfast topped the poll.
In a poor performance, London came bottom of the 16 cities for three specific categories – network reliability, network speed and data performance – ensuring the capital finished last for overall performance.
Manchester remained in the top three in most areas but was let down by data and network performance. Likewise, Birmingham’s relative ranking had fallen.
Belfast’s modest size and lack of sprawl helps. In terms of population, Belfast was ranked 15th from the 16 conurbations. The city lies in a narrow plain between two hill ranges, but this can also be said with Manchester and Glasgow.
What has certainly assisted Belfast has been the revision of the Cornerstone mast-sharing agreement between O2 and Vodafone. As part of its annual survey RootMetrics also examines operator performance in the regions.
According to RootMetrics, Three shared the top ranking for data with EE, while Vodafone performed best on phone calls and O2 for text performance.
Specific to Northern Ireland, RootMetrics findings revealed that EE maintained top spot in all categories, Overall, Speed, Data and Text. When it came to Reliability it slipped to second over the twelve months.
While Three saw it slipping to third for Overall performance and falling to second in Reliability and Calls, it did improve when it came to Speed and Data.
Likewise, O2 fell to a tied third spot for Overall performance and tied second spot for Reliability and Calls with Three.
RootMetrics uses off-the-shelf Android phones and measures network reliability and performance through everyday activities such as emailing, browsing web pages, using apps, making calls and sending texts.
Their aim is to measure performance across a wide range of real-world situations that consumers experience on a daily basis.