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How consumers experience mobile networks in the UK today

Ofcom’s crowdsourced analysis on consumers experience of using mobile networks

London, 2021/09/17 Smart phones are our daily companion and their usage is essential to our day to day lives. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact, there was a decrease in mobile network usage in the central areas of the UK’s capital cities in 2020.

In their 2021 annual report, using umlaut’s crowdscourced data to analyse mobile user experience and network performance in the UK, Ofcom has reached the following key takeaways:

  • In 2021, out of approx. 280,000 Android users, less than 1% reported having at least one 5G mobile connection between January and March 2021. Nonetheless, thats a seven-fold increase compared to 2020. On average, 8% of 5G users’ mobile data connections were made over 5G networks.
  • Nearly three-quarters of data connections were made over Wi-Fi rather than a mobile network (2G, 3G, 4G or 5G), up 8% compared to last year’s pre-lockdown levels.
  • The average length of a mobile call has returned to 2020 pre-lockdown lengths, lasting on average 3 min 40 sec.
  • umlaut has developed a new way to assess consumer’s experience when streaming and watching video. Our new video experience metric shows that EE had the highest proportion of ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ 4G video steaming sessions. No significant differences were observed for O2, Three and Vodafone customers.

Hakan Ekmen, CEO Telecommunication at umlaut: ”As in the previous year, Ofcom, the UK´s communication regulator has relied on our crowdsourced data to analyse people's experiences of mobile services in the UK. We are pleased that our data continues to provide interesting insights into the roll-out of 5G networks and on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the use of mobile communication services.”

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Hakan Ekmen

CEO Telecommunication


+49 151 57133235