Download English PDF version of the test here
THE 2018 MOBILE NETWORK TEST IN AUSTRALIA
THIS YEAR, THE BENCHMARKING EXPERT P3 AND THE INTERNATIONALLY ACKNOWLEDGED TELECOMMUNICATIONS MAGAZINE CONNECT HAVE CONDUCTED THEIR FIFTH MOBILE NETWORK TEST IN AUSTRALIA. AFTER A CLOSE RACE BETWEEN OPTUS AND TELSTRA AND A GOOD THIRD RANK FOR VODAFONE IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR, HOW DID THE AUSTRALIAN OPERATORS PERFORM THIS TIME?
P3, headquartered in Aachen, Germany, is a world leader in mobile network testing. The company has over 3,500 employees worldwide and a turnover of more than 350 million Euros. P3 is partnering with the international telecommunications magazine connect, which has 25 years of editorial expertise and is one of the leading test authorities in Europe for telecommunications products and services. Together, P3 and connect have been conducting the most important network benchmark test in Germany for more than 15 years, extending it to other European countries since 2009. Above that, P3 has been conducting its authoritative Mobile Benchmarking in Australia since 2014 as well as examining many other mobile networks all over the world including those in the USA and Singapore.
The 2018 P3 connect Mobile Benchmark Australia consists of drivetests and walktests conducted in October and November, 2018. Four drive test cars together covered about 13,220 kilometres. The test areas account for more than 15.1 million people, or approximately 67 per cent of the total population of Australia. In addition, the results of extensive crowdsourcing analyses considering August, September and October (Data Service Availability: May to October) 2018 are included in the score.
RESULTS IN A NUTSHELL
AS IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR, WE AGAIN SAW A NECK-AND-NECK RACE BETWEEN THE TWO LARGEST AUSTRALIAN OPERATORS. THIS YEAR, TELSTRA MANAGES TO TAKE THE FIRST RANK BACK FROM AN ALSO VERY STRONG OPTUS. VODAFONE CONFIRMS ITS POSITION.
P3‘s network benchmarks are widely accepted as the de-facto industry standard being highly objective. The carefully designed methodology of our 2018 benchmark in Australia combines drivetests and walktests for executing detailed voice and data measurements under controlled circumstances with a sophisticated crowdsourcing approach. This provides profound insights into the overall coverage of voice, data and 4G services, real-world User Download Speeds and Data Service Availability.
P3‘s holistic approach to network benchmarking includes both drivetest and walktest measurements as well as crowdsourcing. The drive and walktests allow for evaluating the cutting edge of the networks‘ capabilities. Crowdsourcing unveils the service-quality, performance and coverage actually experienced by the users. We have thoroughly weighted these components in order to give a realistic and authoritative assessment of the rated networks‘ true potential and performance.
Telstra are “Best in Test” with Optus achieving a “Very Good” second RANK. Vodafone confirms its position as “Good”. The Australian operators continue to show that they are focused on customer experience.
Telstra achieves a total of 884 points which equals the grade “very good”. Its narrow lead in the voice category is earned in the big city drivetests and its overall win by offering the best speeds for the top 10 per cent of Evaluation Areas.
Optus ranks second with a total of 872 points, which is also a “very good” result. This operator leads in the data category, due to better results in smaller towns and on the roads. Also, Optus managed to improve its results in the voice and data categories compared to previous year’s score. In the crowdsourced assessment, Optus shows a particularly high Quality of 4G Coverage.
Vodafone can almost keep up in the cities and towns but clearly loses ground on the roads. The results of our crowdsourcing and additional examinations show no service degradations in the VHA network between July 2017 and October 2018.
TELSTRA IS THE CLEAR LEADER IN AUSTRALIA IN TERMS OF MARKET SHARE, WHILE OPTUS UND VODAFONE COMPETE FOR THE SECOND RANK. ALL THREE OF THEM OFFER THE LATEST MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES LIKE LTE-ADVANCED AND VOLTE.
According to its own statement, Telstra currently has 17.7 million mobile subscribers in Australia which makes this operator the market leader.The history of Telstra dates far back: The company originated as part of the Postmaster-General‘s Department and was fully privatised by 2006. The last remaining government share was effectively sold in 2011.
Today, Telstra offers voice, mobile and internet access, as well as Pay TV and other entertainment services to Australian customers. The operator provides 3G (UMTS) services at 850 and 2100 MHz and a 4G (LTE including LTE-Advanced) network on the 700, 900, 1800 and 2600 MHz frequency bands. Like its competitors, Telstra has been continually increasing its LTE coverage and offerings, now providing LTE-Advanced under the name “4GX“.
With approximately 6.5 million subscribers on their 4G network, Singtel Optus is the second largest mobile operator in Australia. The company was originally founded as AusSat in 1981 and later changed its name to “Cable & Wireless Optus“. Since 2001, it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Singapore-based SingTel. The company offers its mobile services mainly under the brand name Optus, but also maintains a number of subsidiary brands, such as Virgin Mobile Australia. Its offerings span fixed and mobile telephony and data networks, broadband access for both consumers and business customers, cable TV and satellite services. Optus provides a 3G network at 900 and 2100 MHz and 4G/LTE at the 700, 1800, 2100, 2300 and 2600 MHz bands. Its 4G offerings include LTE-Advanced under the brand name “4G Plus“.
Vodafone Australia quotes a mobile subscriber base of approx. 6 million mobile customers. This makes Vodafone Australia‘s third largest mobile operator. The current company was formed in a merger of Vodafone Australia and Hutchison 3G Australia (and its former “3“ network) in 2009, as is typically referred to as “VHA“ (Vodafone-Hutchison Australia). VHA is a 50:50 joint venture between Vodafone Group Plc and Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Limited and provides mobile as well as fixed services to Australian customers. Today, VHA offers 3G at 900 and 2100 MHz as well as 4G at 850, 1800 and 2100 MHz. Upgrading and expanding its 4G service, Vodafone enabled carrier aggregation (LTE-Advanced) on all of their 4G bands.