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EE still has the largest 4G mobile footprint in the UK, a RootMetrics study has indicated.

The company said that although the other UK networks - Vodafone, O2 and Three - are aggressively rolling out 4G services, EE is continuing to benefit from its one-year head start on the rest of the field.

RootMetrics studied 4G coverage and speeds across 16 markets in the UK, including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and other cities.

It declared that EE's reliability while on 4G was "outstanding".

"In 15 out of the 16 markets, we were able to make [an] initial connection in more than 99 per cent of our testing while on 4G," the firm noted.

RootMetrics explained that, for a smooth consumer experience, users also need to maintain a 4G connection until their web/app task is complete.

It explained that, here too, EE's 4G network "excelled" - delivering a 95 per cent or better success rate.

"EE’s 4G service isn’t just about broad coverage; it also offers lightning-fast speeds," RootMetrics added. "[It] raced past the competition in our comparisons of both maximum and median download speed."

The broadband provider offered the highest maximum download speed of any network, recording 94.1Mb in Belfast, which it almost matched in Bristol (92.7Mb) and London (90.5Mb).

RootMetrics said that, despite EE’s early rollout of 4G, congestion "does not appear to be an issue" for the company's network.

It added that 4G mobile operators can fight congestion by adding capacity to their networks, by acquiring more spectrum and adopting new technologies to improve efficiency.

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