Analyst firm, IDC, has reported a major increase in Australian mobile broadband speeds for three major carriers, but 3 has fallen behind.
IDC telecommunications market analyst, Mark Novosel, said upload speeds surged in 2009 thanks to increased access to HSUPA-enabled modems. He claimed the average speed went up by 169 per cent to 1.238Mbps, as latency dropped by 71 per cent to 129ms.
“The networks have also been upgraded so most now have at least 7.2Mbps on the downlink except 3, which is only 3.6Mbps,” he said. “There is more consistency on the networks. They performed better in more places – in 2008 we saw high-performance in some areas and low performance in others. Now it’s more uniform.”
Novosel said IDC ranked the four major carriers – Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and 3 – according to seven criteria: Download speeds, upload speeds, ping times, page loading, network quality, network fallback and the cost or value of the plans.
Telstra scored the highest at 87 per cent and Optus was only a short way behind at 83 per cent. Vodafone was 73 per cent but 3 was some way behind at 43 per cent, Novosel said.
By contrast, Telstra got 86 per cent, 3 scored 71 per cent, Optus got 63 per cent and Vodafone managed just 56 per cent in 2008.
“As a 3 customer, I’ve noticed degradation in service over the past 12 months, and the testing has confirmed that,” Novosel said. “3 is the only network to have gone down in performance over that time.”
He claimed Optus lifted its score thanks to a dramatic improvement in latency over the last half of 2009. Vodafone provided customers with much better value.
“The benefit for business is getting things done quicker and stopping the frustration of waiting for things to load,” he said. “With more devices, smartphones, iPads and more mobile broadband subscribers coming onto the networks, carrier will have to keep an eye on capacity and they are.”
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