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London's 5G Dilemma: EE Outshines locally, but London's Average Experience Is Worst Among European Cities

Published on January 17, 2024
EE_leads _5G _Experience_London

Join the Quality of Experience Revolution in 5G and Deep Dive into the UK's Capital Network Performance. Have you ever wondered which Operator offers the best 5G Experience in London, how it compares to other European cities, and most importantly, WHY?

In a fiercely competitive telecom landscape and bustling digital era, where seamless and consistent connectivity is the backbone of our daily interactions, operators strive to meet the ever-increasing consumer demand for fast, accessible, and reliable 5G. The race for superior 5G network performance and experience intensifies. 

To help the telecoms industry find out the true Quality of Experience (QoE) of 5G networks in Europe, MedUX conducted his second benchmarking study during Q2-Q3 2023. The study measures 5G performance and quality of experience in major European cities, including London (United Kingdom), Berlin and Munich (Germany), Paris (France), Lisbon and Porto (Portugal), Rome and Milan (Italy), and Madrid and Barcelona (Spain). This exclusive research echoes our ongoing commitment to revealing the true state of 5G networks across Europe. 

MedUX, the internet QoE testing and monitoring company at the forefront of this technological revolution, unveils its latest findings on 5G performance in the UK’s capital and beyond. Our London 5G QoE Benchmarking report reveals an excellent winner, and three very good contenders. EE shines in the London 5G QoE Benchmarking campaign, winning all Mobile Experience Awards except for 5G DL Speed, which goes to Vodafone.

Figure 1. London 5G QoE Benchmarking in a nutshell by MedUX

Figure 1. London 5G QoE Benchmarking in a nutshell by MedUX

5G QoE measurement campaign in UK’s capital

In our quest to provide comprehensive insights, we have incorporated a rigorous methodology encompassing a broad spectrum of factors such as coverage, reliability, and data & OTT (over-the-top) services. Our approach is grounded in over 400 kilometers and 400 square kilometers of extensive testing across London, ensuring an accurate reflection of the city's 5G landscape.

The analysis based on a robust methodology involving 88,311 radio samples and 11,833 tests conducted during Q3 2023 in London, meticulously evaluated the performance of EE, O2, Three and Vodafone across various elements essential to 5G service quality and how they cover the UK’s capital.

The 5G QoE Benchmarking report takes a detailed look at the overall QoE score, measuring a combination of service availability, accessibility (time-to-content), downlink and uplink speed, file transferring, DNS performance, web browsing,  streaming, social media and gaming experience results.

Our team of experienced engineers and data scientists has worked tirelessly to develop 5G-ready measurement robots and a rigorous and comprehensive methodology for testing and benchmarking 5G networks across Europe. 

MedUX uses a proprietary QoE Score to evaluate the results obtained from our on-the-field measurements, based on international best practices and standards from ETSI and ITU, to compare and rank operators’ performance. This synthetic indicator aggregates a wide set of metrics into a single score, allowing for national and international comparison and in-depth analysis of strengths and weaknesses. 

When comparing at the European level, the results of all mobile network operators per city are aggregated to obtain average city performance and a synthetic QoE indicator at the city level.

Key Findings of London 5G QoE

Our extensive study in London showcases a vivid picture of 5G performance, highlighting EE as the standout leader. Excelling across multiple domains, including availability, accessibility, web browsing, gaming, and video streaming, EE not only provides the finest experience but also leads with the highest 5G registration rate (92% of the time), the most consistent experience (99.6% service reliability), and commendable gaming experiences, achieving soaring download speeds of up to 800 Mbps. The operator was subject to 22,709 radio samples and 3,040 tests to its network, with findings highlighting customers will experience an excellent overall quality, fast download speeds, fast loading of video content and fast time-to-content in social media and OTT services.

Figure 2. London 5G QoE Benchmarking Report Key Findings by MedUX

Figure 2. London 5G QoE Benchmarking Report Key Findings by MedUX

Vodafone demonstrates remarkable consistency in 5G speeds, topping the charts with an 85% value for speed score closely outperforming EE by less than half a percent (0.3%), and shines in social media services. Averaging notable 5G download speeds of 171 Mbps and a median value of 148 Mbps, Vodafone sets a high standard in the industry despite not showing the highest speeds among UK’s providers.

Three and O2 also make their mark with significant contributions. Three is lauded for its performance in the upstream link and robust service in data and OTT applications. Three delivers the highest scores in the HTTP upstream link (UL) and achieves the highest 5G UL speeds with 157 Mbps.Meanwhile, O2 excels in having the most reliable DNS resolution service, achieving a 92% DNS score together with Three, along with very good video streaming and social media services.

Three is lauded for its performance in upstream link and robust service in data and OTT applications, boasting the highest 5G upload speeds of 157 Mbps. Meanwhile, O2 secures its position with the most reliable DNS resolution service and a robust video streaming service.

The 5G QoE Benchmark is available on demand in the following site. 


How does QoE in London compare to other European Cities

Despite these encouraging results, a broader perspective is essential. MedUX’s extensive report at the European level, set for release in the first half of February, positions London as having one of the worst overall experiences when compared to its European counterparts, signaling a notable margin for improvement in the UK’s 5G landscape. EE is not to blame for this struggle, but rather the average experience considering all mobile network operators in the UK’s Capital.

London citizens benefit from the best social media performance across Europe and a very good streaming experience with a small gap compared to the best in class.

However, apart from the worst overall experience, London gets the worst speed performance score in Europe. Additionally, it scores the second lowest in reliability (service consistency) and accessibility (time-to-content). In general, London networks fall behind in both DL and UL speeds, especially in 5G with average DL speeds up to 75% lower than Lisbon (Best-in-Class).

To offer the citizens a closer performance to the best-in-class Cities in Europe, networks in London should improve across the board, firstly in speed and secondly in technology availability and accessibility. 5G networks in London varied significantly in terms of end-user experience, reliability, availability, accessibility, speeds and network coverage. Indeed, the study revealed that even within the same city, the 5G experience could vary widely depending on the location. Depending on the UK’s mobile network operator the gap versus top operators in Europe and the areas for potential improvement will differ significantly.

Figure 3. Excerpt regarding 5G availability from European 5G QoE Benchmarking Report by MedUX

Figure 3. Excerpt regarding 5G availability from European 5G QoE Benchmarking Report by MedUX

Across Europe, the spotlight is specially on Berlin for having the best 5G Experience among European cities, with Barcelona and Paris not far behind, but also on Milan for having on average the most reliable networks (99.9% service reliability), and on Porto for having the widest 5G availability (91% registration rate), considering all mobile network operators in each city.

We believe that our 5G QoE benchmark will be an invaluable tool as stakeholders work to optimize 5G network performance and deliver the best possible customer experiences. With our help, telecommunication operators can stay ahead of the competition and meet the growing demands of consumers for faster, more reliable, and more seamless connectivity.  

The 5G QoE Benchmark is available on demand in the following site.


Why QoE Matters

Quality of Service (QoS) has long been the industry standard, but MedUX's focus shifts towards QoE - a more holistic view of network performance. This shift is crucial in understanding the real-world implications of 5G technology, especially as the industry navigates through the nuances of NSA and SA deployments.

In our continuous effort to demystify 5G performance, MedUX employs its innovative mobile measurement technology, MedUX MOBILE, harnessing over 200 performance indicators and metrics. This approach not only offers an in-depth analysis of network performance but also aligns with our mission to assist clients in planning, deploying, monitoring, and optimizing 5G networks.

Our 5G QoE benchmark can cover a wide range of scenarios and use cases, including urban, suburban, and rural areas, indoor and outdoor locations, or any other strategic location or vehicles in mobility such as buses, trains and metros, thanks to our grand-scale flexible deployment capability. 
MedUX focuses on evaluating the QoE that mobile end-users have when using telecommunication services, also called customer-perceived network quality or network experience. 

What do you get joining the #QoERevolution with MedUX?

This benchmark allows telecommunications operators, service providers, and regulatory authorities to gain a deeper understanding of the true performance of 5G networks from a customer perspective.

Speed is not everything and the industry is trying to adapt to meet the needs of customers when using real services. Typical end-users do not necessarily benefit much from download speeds of multiple 100Mbps (not yet). End-users just use a small percentage of those headline speeds when web browsing, streaming, and any other internet regular activities. Indeed, Reliability (how consistent a network performs) or CDN performance (how your contents are served) is way more relevant in the 5G Era than just performing a throughput and ping test against an (optimized) test server to infer the customer experience. 

So, what do users care about in 5G? A consistent experience across services and applications is king, particularly applications performance and time-to-content everywhere and every time, at every click to a video, websites, social networks, cloud storage, games, etc. 


The London 5G QoE Benchmarking campaign is a testament to MedUX's unwavering dedication to enhancing network experiences across Europe. As we gear up for our next edition, which promises even broader coverage and deeper insights, we invite you to join us in this journey of technological excellence.

Discover more about our methodologies, insights, and how MedUX is shaping the future of 5G connectivity. For detailed insights and comprehensive data from our London 5G QoE study, visit our [website] or contact us at hello@medux.com.

Don’t forget to follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest updates and news. And, most importantly let’s make time to meet at MWC24. We are ready to unlock extraordinary digital experiences with MedUX.  

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The 5G QoE Benchmark is available on demand in the following site.



To learn more about our 5G QoE benchmark, our 5G use cases on competitive intelligence, pre-rollout analytics, and basic troubleshooting, and how it can benefit your business, please visit our website or contact us directly at hello@medux.com.


About us:

MedUX is the leading Quality of Experience (QoE) company, providing comprehensive and innovative solutions for measuring the performance of fixed, mobile, and TV telecommunications networks for telecom operators, governments, and digital enterprises. With a focus on delivering grand scale, end-to-end network, and service visibility, MedUX leverages real-time customer perspective data and advanced analytics to ensure quality and regulatory compliance, while also offering valuable insights for optimizing networks and improving customer experiences. With a presence in over 25 countries across Europe, America, Africa, and the Middle East, and monitoring over 60 operators worldwide, MedUX’s patented technology and expertise make it a trusted partner for improving the digital experiences of customers everywhere.    


ALL COPYRIGHTS AND TRADEMARKS ARE RESERVED. This article or report has been prepared for the exclusive use and benefit of press media and solely for non-commercial purposes. Press media members are authorized to entirely or partially disseminate, refer, quote, copy, reproduce, distribute, publish, and transfer the report and its findings (including all intellectual property rights, data, content graphs, and analysis) for information purposes with express attribution to MedUX. Use of the report and its findings, entirely or partially, in any form or by any means, by any other third party or for any other purposes (including, commercial or marketing purposes), without the prior written consent of MedUX, is strictly prohibited. Operators can make a request to MedUX for a license to use quality or certification seals, as well as marketing rights to quote the findings. Non-authorized use will be considered a violation of copyright and trademark laws.     

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