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Jan Bruns


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Hardware: The best mobile network in Germany

Germany’s finest cellular community

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Some 30 years after the invention of cellular telephony and the cellular Internet, phrases like “I should have simply been in a lifeless zone” or “The obtain should be slowing down” are nonetheless commonplace. And anybody who not solely makes use of their smartphone to make calls and WhatsApp, but additionally needs to gamble on the cellular community, is as soon as once more depending on a dependable and closed cellular community – or much more annoyed when it is “not there” once more.

Of course, we’re speaking about quick 4G and 5G connections, as a result of any connection efficiency beneath that’s unacceptable for on-line gaming on cellular units past easy informal games. The community supplier itself usually suggestions the scales by way of bandwidth, however the fluctuations inside a community are generally hanging relying on the situation. This makes a basic assertion virtually inconceivable, however at the very least a superb pattern might be decided with the assistance of elaborate community checks.

Mobile community check: check drives, check measurements, consumer information

Equipment for measurement drive for mobile network test is in air-conditioned roof boxes. © zafaco

The tools for the measurement drive for the cellular community check is positioned in air-conditioned roof containers. © zafaco

In order to ship simply that, i.e. a extra correct image of the state of the cellular community all through Germany, have IMTEST and 4Players, in cooperation with zafaco GmbH, examined the three main cellular community suppliers in a hitherto distinctive check. Several thousand kilometers of check drives by means of Germany, voice high quality measurements inside and between the networks, and user-based measurements had been mixed to kind an general image that exhibits which of the three community suppliers – Telekom, Vodafone, and Telefónica (O2) – is forward in Germany in cellular communications, at the very least in lots of respects.

During the check drives, a complete of over 120,000 check connections had been made. The drives handed by means of 30 main German cities and alongside well-frequented nation roads and highways – the catchment space thus coated the cellular communications scenario of round 15 million inhabitants. Result: The three main cellular community operators are all “good”. Except for Telekom – which is even “superb”. A take a look at the main points reveals why Telekom gives the most effective cellular community.

The finest mobile phone community decided in 5 check dimensions

The cellular community check by IMTEST and 4Players relies on a mix of a number of measurement ranges that has by no means been carried out earlier than. This permits the absolute best illustration of each the efficiency of the mobile phone networks and the actual consumer expertise. The three check ranges might be additional damaged down into 5 dimensions: Measurement journeys all through Germany For 5 weeks, testers from Zafaco coated greater than 8,000 kilometers.

The map of the availability of all mobile networks up to 5G shows gaps as soon as one goes very far into detail. In some cases, however, the spots appear when there is no measurement data in very remote areas. © zafaco

The map of the provision of all cellular networks as much as 5G exhibits gaps as quickly as one goes very far into element. In some instances, nonetheless, the spots seem when there isn’t any measurement information in very distant areas. © zafaco

The greater than 120,000 check connections made within the course of had been then evaluated within the 4 classes of voice, information, browsing and streaming with a complete of 27 parameters. Connections between cellular and stuck networks Common cellular checks solely take into account cellular voice connections inside a radio community. IMTEST and zafaco have gone additional: In round 80,000 check connections between cellular and fixed-network connections distributed all through Germany, the testers examined the voice high quality of calls between cellular and stuck networks – and in each instructions. Is that related? Absolutely, as a result of virtually 1 / 4 (round 23 p.c) of all name minutes in 2021 had been routed from the cellular to the fastened community for outgoing calls. In the wrong way, the determine was nonetheless 10 p.c.

Measurements between cellular operators

This level additionally applies: not like most different cellular community checks, zafaco’s specialists evaluated the standard of cell phone connections each between totally different community operators and inside a cellular community. Around 50,000 check connections had been evaluated on this manner in line with 21 standards. Transmission velocity The remaining outcomes additionally included the user-based evaluations of the broadband measurement commissioned by the German Federal Network Agency.

The evaluation of network availability shows a clear picture: While the share of 5G is very high in large cities (right in the picture) and on highways, it is decreasing outside. © zafaco

The analysis of community availability exhibits a transparent image: While in giant cities (on the appropriate within the image) and on highways the share of 5G may be very excessive, it decreases exterior. © zafaco

They present info on whether or not and to what extent the transmission speeds promised by community operators are literally achieved. Network availability The final check dimension might be essentially the most hanging and can be user-based: the information on community availability. The “wi-fi gap app” is on the market at www.breitbandmessung.de and can be utilized to find out the proportion of wi-fi holes and the provision of quick 4G and 5G networks. Since October 2018, 450 million measurement factors have already been evaluated. For this check, the outcomes from July 2021 to July 2022 had been used – a complete of over 100 million measurement factors. More particulars on the check process can be found in this article.

Test drives: information and voice in cellular communications

Both information and voice companies had been examined through the check drives. Samsung smartphones with the newest firmware out there from the respective community operators had been used as check units to allow using 5G every time and wherever the community was out there. The testing of the voice companies, additionally with Samsung smartphones, in addition to the qualitative analysis had been carried out on either side on the premise of a particular algorithm.

If you take a look at the naked figures (see desk), issues do not look so unhealthy: Error charges when organising voice connections are within the minimal vary of 0.36 (Telefónica) and 0.6 p.c (Vodafone), and voice high quality and connection set-up instances are superb or very quick in all instances. The scenario is totally different for cellular information transmission.

Mobile information on mobile phone networks? More like a mud highway than a freeway

Part of the mobile network test included user measurements of real-world Internet speed. © Zafaco

Part of the cellular community check had been consumer measurements of actual Internet velocity. © Zafaco

If you take a look at pure velocity, solely Telekom scored properly. The image is analogous – however not fairly as hanging – once you take a look at cellular connections for browsing or video streaming: The error charges are low, however a few of them have issues with the velocity.

In quick: Mobile voice connections are steady and of fine high quality throughout your entire measurement sequence in Germany. The candidate Telefónica (O2) achieved the most effective outcomes, intently adopted by Telekom and Vodafone. If we now take a look at the measured values for cellular Internet, we are able to roughly draw the next conclusions: Transmission errors are uncommon, however the velocity is commonly decrease than anticipated. The measurement outcomes thus verify the on a regular basis expertise of many smartphone surfers on the transfer: The information arrives later than anticipated. So the load bar will nonetheless be a problem in 2022.

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