MOBILE operator EE has continued its lead in the war over 4G coverage as new figures showed it was the leading network in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Research from RootMetrics by IHS Markit yesterday showed EE was used by 33.9% of mobile users in Scotland, ahead of Northern Ireland (33.4%), but behind Wales (35.7%) and England (38.3%).

The operator won or shared all six RootMetrics categories for the fourth consecutive test period, delivering speeds which can download a song faster than its competitors.

Improvements to Vodafone’s service, used by 22.6% of Scots, narrowed the gap between it and EE, while Three remained solid in reliability testing.

Although O2 failed to rank above third or fourth in any test category in metro testing, its reliability remained strong.

It achieved excellent data reliability for getting connected in 14 of 16 areas, giving consumers another alternative when deciding which operator to select, said RootMetrics.

BT-owned EE was able to deliver high speeds and strong reliability across Britain and recorded its fastest median download speed of 45.7 Mbps in Birmingham, which would enable a user to download in just 1.6 seconds, the UK’s current number one single, Señorita by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello.

Kevin Hasley, RootMetrics head of product, said: “EE’s continued dominance of our testing backed by Vodafone’s improvements means there is healthy competition in the UK mobile operator market. Three and O2 have also performed well in specific categories, leaving a very competitive market.

“5G is still in its infancy and the vast majority of the customer experience will remain on 4G networks for the foreseeable future.

“Operators have to balance the early stages of 5G deployments while continuing to improve 4G LTE performance ... We’ve already seen an indication of the future from our recent South Korea 5G tests and there is a real opportunity for operators to make a move in ensuring this technology can provide the capacity, low latency and fast speeds required to enable the Internet of Things and connect our world like never before.”