When it comes to 5G, the two biggest players in town are Vodafone and EE. While the latter was the first to launch this next-generation mobile technology in the UK, Vodafone quickly caught-up – and introduced some brilliant features, such as 5G roaming when travelling across Europe for its customers. And now, Vodafone claims to have thrashed its BT-owned rival in another important measure: speed.

A new report by global consultancy and testing company umlaut has named Vodafone as the mobile carrier with the fastest speeds and best reliability in London. Of course, while that’s not hugely exciting for anyone living outside of the capital, with 8.9 million people living in London – that’s a lot of potential customers for the winner of this report.

According to the findings from umlaut, Vodafone gives customers 99.7% reliability when streaming clips on YouTube using 5G, and 100% reliability for web browsing. The nearest rival achieved 94.5% reliability for YouTube.

And it wasn’t just reliability where Vodafone succeeded, the network was also named as boasting the highest average download speeds, at 215.2 Mbps. For comparison, the average speed of fixed-line broadband connections across the UK is 64Mbps.

The tests measured 5G from all four UK operators and covered 55% of the total population of London.

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Vodafone’s Consumer Director, Max Taylor, said: “The results from this report show that our customers are getting the best 5G experience and that our investment in our network is really paying off. In London, our network is the most reliable, and is delivering on the promise of 5G download speeds.

“Every day we’re bringing this great 5G experience to more customers around the UK. We’re making sure Vodafone is the best place to come for the latest smartphones – a great network, with great benefits, and great value.”

The eye-watering speeds available from Vodafone’s 5G network was also recently praised by RootMetrics – another industry test expert – in its latest report on the state of UK mobile carriers.

Reporting on tests conducted over the course of the first six months of the year, RootMetrics stated: “While Vodafone’s 5G availability was relatively limited, the operator’s performance in London was noteworthy. Keeping in mind that Vodafone’s 5G availability in London was just 5.2%, the operator delivered the fastest 5G median download speed in the city at 181.8 Mbps.”

However, where RootMetrics and Umlaut differ is the winning operator singled-out by the reports. While Umlaut says Vodafone offers the best experience in London, RootMetrics recommends EE – as the carrier offers consistently strong speeds in more locations across the city and the rest of the UK.

It states: “EE’s 5G offers the best combination of fast speeds and broad coverage: The only operator with 5G in all 16 cities tested, EE’s median download speeds were consistently fast — and much faster than those on 4G LTE — in every one of them, with EE’s ‘slowest’ 5G speed of 103.9 Mbps in Nottingham and its fastest 5G speed of 145.9 Mbps in Newcastle. EE’s 5G coverage was also quite broad relative to other operators. In fact, EE had the highest 5G availability in each of the 16 markets we tested.”

Your mileage will vary. If you live and work in central London and desperately want to be able to download Netflix shows, stream music and video call friends and family over 5G without a hint of a stutter, Vodafone sounds like your best option. But if you’ll likely need to travel to other parts of the UK, or commute from outside of the city, EE sounds like a more well-rounded option.

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