Saturday , August 19 2017

OpenSignal report shows a good state of affairs on both 3G and 4G technology in Australia

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Metrics company OpenSignal has today released their first report focusing on the Australian mobile networks in Australia, taking a look at the state of affairs between the three largest carriers: Vodafone, Telstra and Optus.

The overall state of affairs in Australia is quite good with regards to both our 3G and 4G networks, with decent availability and speeds from all three carriers. For this report, OpenSignal took sample data from almost 8,000 users across Australia between February 1st and April 30th this year, gathering nearly 16 million data points to generate the report.

For this, and other reports, OpenSignal relies on data provided from their 3G 4G WiFi Maps & Speed Test app which is available on Android and iOS for free.

There were some expected results as well as some surprise results, with Telstra beating out both Vodafone and Optus in terms of overall 4G speeds in Australia, beating both by several megabits per second. OpenSignal however found that there ‘really are no slow LTE networks in Australia’, with all three carriers able to sustain an average download speed greater than 18mbps. Telstra though was the winner though with an average of 23.60Mbps, with Optus and Vodafone following behind at 19.18 and 18.49Mbps respectively.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 8.12.34 am

In terms of 3G network speeds, there was very little difference with all three carriers offering 4-5Mbps.

When it comes to availability however, the big surprise was that Vodafone matched Telstra when it came down to delivering a consistent LTE signal. To determine availability of LTE, OpenSignal checks availability only on devices with an LTE plan, querying the device for signal every 10-15 minutes.

Based on these parameters both Vodafone and Telstra gave access to their LTE network more than 75% of the time with Vodafone offering LTE 77.6% of the time and Telstra offering at 76.21% of the time. Optus still performed well with LTE available 73.4% of the time.

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Latency on a network – the delay data experiences as it travels between points in the network, with a lower speed a better result – was another metric that OpenSignal addressed in their report, finding that Optus and Vodafone had the lowest latency on their 4G networks. Optus was slightly faster with 51.88ms latency, though Vodafones score of 54.71msenough to tie them with Optus in OpenSignals report. Telstra brought up the rear on this one with a score of 56.26ms.

Overall, the state of the networks in Australia is pretty good. We have a decent 3G network which is performing well all round, especially with more users migrating to 4G and the 4G networks are considered world leading. OpenSignal pointed to the trials of 5G technology here in Australia noting that we often are too far ahead of device manufacturers when it comes to implementing new network technology and suffering with only limited devices able to access that technology. OpenSignal pointed to Telstra’s plan to trial a 1Gbps network later this year, which will have only 1 device, a Netgear MiFi able to access it.

Still, for Australians we have it pretty good here, something most international travellers can attest to if they’ve been to some countries which are still offering only 3G or limited 4G service.

OpenSignal ranks Australia fairly highly in terms of speeds, finding our results put us among the top 10 in average LTE speed and in the top 20 in 4G availability – pointing to our vast land mass as a very impressive feat to achieve.

You can find an overview of the report in this table below, or if you’re really into it you can check out OpenSignal’s full report here.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 8.17.27 am

 
Source: OpenSignal.

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

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