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Three’s still the fastest 5G network – and it has great coverage too

Three’s investments in 5G are clearly paying off, as the company has just been named the UK’s fastest 5G network by Ookla – which runs Speedtest. In fact, this is the third consecutive Ookla Speedtest award where Three has received that honour.

This award is handed out to the fastest 5G network every six months, and in the latest report – covering the first half of 2022 - Three achieved a median 5G download speed of 292.57Mbps, which is remarkably fast. It also achieved a median 5G upload speed of 13.44Mbps and a Speed Score of 248.16.

Sadly Ookla hasn’t revealed Three’s highest speed on test, and nor has it given specific speed details of the other networks, but it has provided Speed Scores for all of them, with Vodafone coming second at 133.54, EE in third at 126.10, and O2 last at 90.16.

Ookla’s Speed Scores are calculated using a combination of download and upload speeds, with 80% of the score attributed to download speed. Median speeds are also given more weight here than maximum speeds, in an attempt to make this score representative of the day-to-day experience on the network.

As a result, it’s not clear from any of this whether Three offers the very highest 5G speeds or not, but – based on Ookla’s tests at least – its speeds are likely to be the most consistently high, which is the most important thing.

In fact, based on the Speed Scores above it seems like Three is probably way ahead here, as its score is around 115 points higher than the second place one.

56% population coverage

Three has also announced that its 5G network now covers 56% of the UK population, across 3,200 sites in more than 400 locations.

It’s unclear exactly how Three’s coverage with 5G compares to other networks – though we know that EE hit 50% population coverage in May. So Three might be slightly behind EE on that front, but probably not by much, and with seemingly far more consistently high speeds. It increasingly seems then that Three is the 5G network to be on.


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