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London lags behind rest of Europe on 5G network quality, report finds

London lags behind rest of Europe on 5G network quality, report finds

Testing out internet speeds on an Oppo Reno 5G smartphone with EE’s network.

Ryan Browne | CNBC

London falls far behind other major European cities when it comes to the quality of its 5G connection, according to a report shared with CNBC.

The findings from fixed and mobile network benchmarking firm MedUX found that London ranked 10th for 5G quality of experience in Europe, out of a group of 10 cities that includes Berlin, Barcelona, Paris, and Lisbon.

The German capital had the best 5G experience overall, which MedUX attributed to Berlin’s outperformance in areas like network consistency across different levels of applications and overall low latency.

“They are very good at doing things properly,” Rafael Galarreta, chief marketing officer of MedUX, told CNBC in an interview.

“They are the best in particular worlds,” he added, highlighting the city’s prowess in video streaming and data for over-the-top media platforms.

MedUX uses robots to quality assess fixed and mobile wireless internet broadband, identifying and resolving network issues. The company works with telecom providers, regulators, and enterprises to benchmark and monitor networks.

According to MedUX, Berlin has the best 5G coverage of any European city overall, according to MedUX, with a 89.6% reach. It is also the best city overall for 5G streaming, with average latency of less than 40 milliseconds.

Berlin, Barcelona, and Paris scored the highest among European cities on MedUX’s overarching 5G quality benchmark. Lisbon, Milan and Porto were the runners up.

London, on the other hand, was close to the bottom of the ranking for European 5G networks. According to MedUX, nearly 77.5% of the city’s population has 5G on their devices now, below the urban average.

London also performs badly on downlink speeds, with MedUX data showing the city gives users an average download speed of 143 megabits per second (Mbps), compared to 528 Mbps for Lisbon, 446 Mbps for Porto, 326 Mbps for Barcelona.

Munich in Germany, the second-worst city for 5G downlink speeds, had average download speeds of 259 Mbps.

“The U.K. is struggling for several reasons,” Galaretta said. “We already spoke about the macro things, but the two most important dimensions in which the U.K. mobile networks are lagging behind is speed and accessibility, and network responsiveness.”

Network responsiveness, Galaretta said, affects latency, which impacts data-intensive applications like online gaming — and in particular cloud gaming, which provides…

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