Research by RobotMetrics has shown EE to be the UK’s best mobile network. Judged under six criteria (overall performance, reliability, speed, calls, texts, mobile internet), EE came out on top in five of them. It achieved over 88 per cent for its ‘overall performance’. At the other end of the spectrum, Vodafone came bottom in each category, scoring only 65 per cent in the ‘speed index’.
A relative newcomer to the UK mobile network operator market, EE (which originally stood for Everything Everywhere) was formed in 2010 as a result of a merger between Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile and Orange S.A.’s Orange network. The company exploded on to the scene in September 2012 when it used its excess capacity to become the first UK network to launch 4G on a number of devices, including the new much-anticipated iPhone 5.
EE has unsurprisingly welcomed the news. Olaf Swantee, EE’s chief executive, confirmed that EE is “providing the best mobile experience to business and consumers across the UK”. Whilst the company continues to invest heavily in improving their service (spending £1 billion this year to improve network coverage alone), the gap between them and their competitors is narrowing.
Whilst in 2013 EE won outright in each of the six categories, this year Three prevented EE achieving a clean sweep, equalling their score on ‘reliability’. EE’s competitors estimate that they will catch up as they continue to roll out their own 4G services. EE currently claims that its 4G network covers 70 per cent of the UK population.
The company has been far from perfect since its creation – according to Ofcom it was the most complained-about telecommunications company in the UK – and has been criticised most recently for its decision to offer a ‘queue jump’ service costing 50p to customers trying to get through to customer services.
Nevertheless, EE’s rise has been impressive. Their high-profile advertising campaign has been led by brand ambassador and Hollywood A-lister Kevin Bacon, and they have recently won endorsements including becoming the official mobile network of the England team for the World Cup.