Head to head: iPhone on O2 vs Vodafone

O2 coverage map and here for Vodafone's network map - that show areas of 3G coverage. If you don't have any coverage where you're likely to be, there's not a lot of point getting an iPhone.

We tested by going to four locations, Waterloo station at rush hour, Millbank in Westminster, Oxford Circus at midday and in the evening Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. At each location we ran the free app Speedtest.net. This gave us a download and an upload speed in Kilobits/second. We ran the app at the same time on each phone, ran the test three times and then averaged the result.

At Waterloo station, Vodafone was comfortably ahead, with higher download and upload speeds.

Waterloo iPhone speed test

At Westminster, it was a split result as Vodafone was ahead for download speeds, but behind O2 for uploads. Undoubtedly though, downloading speeds are going to be more significant, most of the time, so it's a moral victory for Vodafone.

Westminster iPhone speed test

Oxford Circus, proved to be a very tough test for both networks not surprising considering the number of iPhones likely to be in the vicinity. However, once again Vodafone came up trumps though, while O2 really struggled here - failing to even score on the first upload test.

Oxford Circus iPhone speed test

Back at our home base though in Borehamwood, O2 clearly has better coverage, with better average speeds throughout.

Boreham Wood iPhone speed test

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.