Vodafone has been singled out as being the fastest mobile broadband provider in Australia, according to new research.
Broadband comparison website, www.broadbandexpert.com.au, revealed Vodafone maintained an average mobile broadband speed of 2.2Mbps, higher than the average speed of other providers surveyed at 1.88Mbps. Broadband Expert collected data from 1724 mobile broadband speed tests conducted via the website between July-December 2009.
The average mobile broadband download speed clocked in at 1.88Mbps – around half the average broadband speed being delivered to Australian homes (3.5Mbps), according to Broadband Expert’s February studies.
Broadband Expert director, Richard Patterson, said contributing factors to the results included the number of people on the network, distance from the mobile tower and the USB device used to connect.
“The more congested the network, the slower the speed,” he said. Commercial director, Rob Webber, said the speeds, despite averaging just over 50 per cent of average home broadband speeds, were still encouraging.
“Mobile broadband is a relatively new technology and speeds are on the increase,” he said.
At present, many consumers see mobile broadband as an addition to their home broadband connection, allowing them to get online on the move, Webber said.
“Mobile broadband is often used to browse websites and send emails when people don’t have access to a fixed broadband connection,” he said. “The average mobile broadband speeds currently being delivered are more than adequate for this type of use.”
However, mobile broadband will struggle to compete as a replacement for a home broadband connection, Webber added.
“Due to slower speeds and lower download limits, mobile broadband is less suitable for activities such as downloading or watching movies or online gaming. Until the introduction of 4G mobile broadband,” he said.
Telstra BigPond was ranked fourth in the test and a spokesperson for the telco giant it does not believe the survey accurately reflected the mobile broadband experience of customers across the Telstra Next G network.
"We conduct thousands of hours of detailed network testing to arrive at our speed claims," the spokesperson said. "Customers with a BigPond Elite USB device can experience typical download speeds of 550kbps-8Mbps in all capital cities and selected regional areas.
Ranking by provider, number of tests, average downloads speed (Mbps) and average upload speed (Mbps).
- 1. Vodafone 236, 2.2, 0.8
- 2. Optus 286, 2.1, 0.6
- 3. Virgin Mobile 176, 2.1, 0.4
- 4. Telstra BigPond 476, 1.8, 0.7
- 5. 3 Mobile 550, 1.2, 0.5
- Total 1724, 1.88, 0.6
Australian mobile broadband providers with less than 100 speed tests were excluded from the above results.