Trusted Reviews may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through links on our site. Learn More

UK’s best city for mobile speeds revealed

Bad phone signal ranks alongside the weather and Katie Hopkins for things Brits love moaning about.

The best and worst UK cities have been ranked based on their mobile phone network performance in the second half of 2015.

Independent mobile analytics firm RootMetrics tracked reliability and speed results from data, call, and text testing in 16 cities across Britain, and compiled the figures in a study published today.

The researchers observed phone signal from four popular networks: EE, O2, Three, and Vodafone. Each city was then assigned a score, weighted based on estimated subscribers for each carrier.

Here are the results:

  1. Manchester – 95.4
  2. Birmingham – 94.6
  3. Liverpool – 94.5
  4. Coventry – 94.3
  5. Belfast – 93.5
  6. Sheffield – 93.0
  7. Nottingham – 92.6
  8. Leicester – 92.2
  9. Edinburgh 91.9
  10. Leeds & Bradford – 91.8
  11. Glasgow – 90.7
  12. Newcastle – 90.6
  13. London – 90.1
  14. Bristol – 87.1
  15. Cardiff – 79.2
  16. Hull – 77.9

So it appears to be settled. Manchester tops out the list, while the capital sits in a lowly 13th spot.

However, it’s worth remembering that there are plenty of other towns and cities that likely have worse signal than all of the areas tested by RootMetrics.

Nevertheless, the locations in the study make up the UK’s 16 most populous Larger Urban Zones, so it’s not a bad measure for how Brits fare in terms of their phone signal.

4GEE TaxisLondon ranked 13th out of 16 cities measured

“There’s just no getting away from the Manchester-Liverpool rivalry, and throughout 2015 the two cities have been tussling for the mobile top spot,” says Scott Stonham, RootMetrics GM for Europe.

Stonham continues: “While Manchester scored the most points in the second half of the year, people using their phones in Liverpool, and Birmingham too, can expect a strong overall mobile performance whatever network they are on.”

Related: Best Android Smartphones 2016

So why did London perform so poorly in comparison to the rest of the UK’s major cities? Well, it’s all down to the city’s huge population relative to its size.

“Providing good mobile coverage in London is always going to be difficult due to the density of the population, the architecture and changes in demand on capacity,” explains Stonham.

Do you get good phone signal where you live? Let us know in the comments.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor