London 2018

London Networks Test Nov 2018

On the 25th of November 2018, armed with flagship devices, Peter and Jake took on London, visiting multiple sites and taking performance measurements along the way in different conditions. The results weren't quite what we expected, but it was a Sunday, and Winter Wonderland was packed!
For more information on the testing, scroll further down.

The results

Testing Locations

Testing Method

We used 2018 flagship phones with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipsets to test the networks, which allowed us to take full advantage of the high end network deployments in London, such as 4x4 MIMO, 256QAM and high level Carrier Aggregation.

When it came to testing locations, we attempted to be random in where and when we tested to try and avoid bias in the field testing process. A range of challenging end user environments ended up being included in the route, such as indoors and between substantial concrete buildings.


The results categories are download throughput, uplink throughput and response times, all key indicators of network performance. Data for each are presented in terms of mean, median, 90th Percentile and 10th Percentile to provide a detailed overview of not only the "typical" performance observer for each network in regard to each factor, but also the best and worst cases. EE lead for every measure with a sterling performance; their Huawei 5507 L18+L21 upgrades have proven shrewd. Vodafone follows in second place with an overall good performance, albeit one held back substantially by the figures obtained in the TEF host zone. Then, somewhat a surprise, three came in third place, beating O2 at nearly every category. Three's experience has been revolutionised by the refarm of 2100MHz from 3G to 4G. O2 had some strong performances, especially on their modern flagship sites equipped with six sector L08+L18+L21 and 4T4R L23. However, these were rare.
tl;dr EE takes the crown once again with a somewhat unprecedented lead in every category, Three and O2 have been revolutionised by additional spectrum but early deployment thereof hampers, meanwhile Vodafone maintains second place, restrained by fragmented network between TEF and VF host zones."
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