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October 14, 2014

O2 ranked as the worst mobile network for London commuters

And London's Kings Cross St Pancras is the worst for mobile performance.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Vodafone and EE rank the best in the league of UK operators for 3G and 4G data services respectively, according to the latest research.

Research firm Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) tested the ten most popular commuter routes in the UK and looked at how the UK’s major mobile networks performed on each.

It rated Vodafone as the fastest and most reliable 3G data service, EE as the best at handling 4G data, while Three was named as the most reliable of the networks for calls.

But GWS said EE fell back on its 2G network 42% during testing, while Vodafone also relied on its 2G network 40% of the time.

The study also named O2 as the least reliable network for commuters. It found that the operator used 2G more than 60% of the time, and that half-rate codecs, which reduce audio quality, were used for nearly a third of all calls.

Overall, the study said that 23% of 3G data packets and more than 37% of 4G data packets travelling across the networks of the four major UK operators failed to reach their intended destination.

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The research also revealed that St. Pancras has by far the worst connectivity of all of the stations tested by GWS, which found an average of 99 voice and packet data failures across the four operators during testing.

Paul Carter, CEO of GWS, said: "Leaves on the track, the wrong kind of snow, having to stand up all the way to work and back – commuters have enough to contend with without the kind of mobile connectivity problems we’re revealing today.

"It’s hard to believe we’re in 2014 and in a situation whereby a trained wizard would have a tough time getting a signal on the Hogwarts Express while it’s sitting in St. Pancras."

He added: "Pressure from commuters makes it inevitable that trains won’t keep their status as mobile dead zones for much longer. It’d be great to see networks, rail operators and station-masters taking the lead on improving connectivity for commuters – rather than having to be dragged into the 21st Century kicking and screaming."

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