The quality and reliability of voice connections represent 40 per cent of the final score. Which operator offers the best network in this respect?
Assessing voice telephony, A1 scores first. Especially in the drive tests – the test calls made from car to car – that P3 took in larger cities, this operator performed a tiny bit better than its competitors.
At the time of testing, A1 was the only Austrian operator who already supported VoLTE. This may have helped particularly in the inner cities with their good LTE coverage. But the high score that A1 achieved in this category, would not have been possible had this operator not also performed exceptionally well in its conventional telephony service.
In the walk tests that our testing teams conducted in city centres and public buildings, all three candidates scored almost equally on a very high level. Last year‘s winner is slightly ahead in the discipline of voice connections in rural regions, namely in smaller towns and on connecting roads. But even there, the overall difference between the three networks is only minuscule.
Data tests account for 60 per cent of the final score. Who delivers the best performance in this category?
When we look at the tests of data connections, the results are very similar. Here again, A1 shows a slight advance in larger cities with Drei following closely. For web page access tests, T-Mobile Austria falls a fraction behind – but still offers top results that might be totally sufficient for a test win in some other countries. All in all, the success ratios, session times and data throughputs that can be seen in the adjacent tables are fantastic values.
In the inner city walk tests, Drei becomes the frontrunner by a very thin margin. But here again, the two other providers follow at a distance of only a few points. As we could already observe in the voice tests, Drei scores slightly better than both of its competitors in small towns and on the connecting roads. But, as in the other disciplines before, the contest takes place at a very high level.
Mobile communications on Austrian railways
When they talk on the phone or surf the web in trains, Austrian customers have once more good reason to be pleased. The measurement values that P3‘s teams gathered on hundreds of railway kilometres, certify very good results for the three Austrian operators – even if indicators like success ratios or data rates somewhat drop in this category when for instance compared to those obtained on the connecting roads.
A1 scores best for conveying voice calls in trains, while Drei turns out to be the data champion. Regarding voice telephony in trains, T-Mobile falls slightly behind, while this is not true for data communications – where this operator offers absolutely no cause for complaint. On the whole, in the railway category Austria scores somewhat behind Switzerland, but is clearly ahead of the results from Germany.
It was well worth the effort: in this year‘s connect network test, A1 takes back the gold medal from last year‘s winner Drei. Particularly good voice results make A1 the overall winner in the Alpine Republic. But equally in terms of data communications and connectivity in railways, the A1 network scores very strong. Moreover, with a total score of 918 out of a possible maximum of 1000 A1 is also a top tier when comparing the results from all three involved countries.
Drei was also able to improve on last year‘s results on the whole. But it is by a very close margin of only three points, that the Hutchison-owned provider makes second place. Drei scores better than its competitors particularly in smaller towns and on connecting roads. Examining mobile connectivity in trains, the overall winner A1 and Drei are basically on par. And bear in mind that a second place in Austria would be equivalent to a test win in many other countries.
Compared to last year, T-Mobile Austria took the biggest step forward. The actual reason that this contender still scores razorthin behind its competitors for most of the indicators is the extreme strength of all Austrian providers. Still, T-Mobile Austria turns out to be in excellent shape. Its total result would have made this provider a strong number two in Germany and would actually come quite close to the performance of the parent company based there.