Average mobile broadband speed 1.88Mbps

Around half the average home connection, broadband comparison site claims

The average speed of mobile broadband connections in Australia is just half that of the average home fixed-line broadband connection, according to broadband comparison site Broadband Expert.

In comparing 1724 mobile broadband speed tests conducted between July 2009 and December 2009, the site found that the average mobile broadband speed was just 1.88Mbps, compared to the average home broadband speed of 3.5Mbps.

According to the site, Vodafone topped the mobile broadband speed race with an average download speed of 2.2Mbps and an upload speed of 0.8Mbps.

Optus was in second place with average speeds of 2.1Mbps down and 0.6 up, Virgin Mobile in third slot with average speeds of 2.1Mbps down and 0.4Mbps up.

Telstra Big Pond (plans running on the NextG network) was in fourth slot with an average speed of 1.8Mbps down and 0.7Mbps up, and 3 Mobile was in fifth place with an average speed of 1.2Mbps down and 0.5Mbps up.

Rob Webber, Commercial Director at Broadband Expert said there were a number of factors influencing mobile broadband speed including distance from the mobile broadband provider’s network tower, network congestion and the availability of 3G coverage.

Despite the results, the mobile broadband speeds were adequate for the majority of the present mobile computing needs.

“Mobile broadband is often used to browse websites and send emails when people don’t have access to a fixed broadband connection,” he said in a statement. “The average mobile broadband speeds currently being delivered are more than adequate for this type of use.”

Webber added that until the introduction of 4G networks, mobile broadband would likely continue to be seen as an addition to home broadband, rather than as a replacement.

The findings of Broadband Expert are consistent with those of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) which in March found that more than 60 per cent of all Internet connections are now at or above 1.5Mbps.

In its latest Internet Activity Survey (IAS), which surveys Internet service providers (ISPs) with more than 1000 subscribers, the ABS found at the end of 2009 there were 9.1 million Australians accessing the net with just under 90 per cent using a non-dial up connection.

The fastest growing connection type was for mobile Internet with datacards, dongles and USB modems accounting for 2.8 million connections, a 40 per cent rise on the last period.

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Tags ABSmobile broadbandbroadband comparison

More about 3 MobileABS AustraliaAustralian Bureau of StatisticsBig PondetworkOptusTelstra CorporationVirgin Mobile AustraliaVodafone

22 Comments

Troy

1

Clearly Bigpond are now the leaders with their 21mbps technology. Coming from using Vodafone with constant reconnections and then 3 with their abysmal speeds i've been subject to the enormous congestion that 3G technology suffers. Just last night i ran several tests on speedtest.com and with a 50ms ping, 5MBit Down and 1MBit up there is no doubt in my mind that telstra is the market leader in speed and quality of network. Its just about pricing now.

Craig Middleton, Telstra spokesman

2

We do not believe the survey accurately reflects the mobile broadband experience of customers across the Telstra Next G network which offers superior speeds those claimed by competitor 3G networks.

We conduct thousands of hours of detailed network testing to arrive at our speed claims. Customers with a BigPond Elite USB device can experience typical customer download speeds of 550kbps-8Mbps in all capital cities and selected regional areas.

Many independent reviews have highlighted the Next G network's superior coverage and speed.

In the absence of any real detail regarding the tests on which these results are based, we have reservations about the underlying scientific rigour and independence of the survey findings given the fact the publishing organisation receives commissions from ISPs for sign ups through its site.

JhunW

3

It is purely based ib technology that you have in reality. For example i have both HSDPA Phone & Telstra Next G USB. The thing is my phone is much newer. The same network same location (my office) my phone reaches 3.6MBs while my USB only 2.1MBs. All the hardware based. I reality speeds will never even come close to the advertised speed. It is a fact we have to accept.

Nathan

4

It's not purely your hardware, it's a combination of the hardware and the network used.

But this survey is laughable. Telstra is the only one with a 42mbps (theoretical) network. I hate to think what technology the others are running - 7.2mbps? Regardless, the others are so congested during peak times it wouldnt matter...

DFG

5

one word..... BULLSH!T

sdf

6

Nice reporting, copy their press release word for word despite it being from a site selling all suppliers OTHER than Telstra. You reporting this just encourages their kickback funded scam for a site.

Ann O'Dyne

7

Your article reflects my experience and I cannot agree with any comments above.
My Telstra NextG USB is used with a DELL laptop and I travel constantly and find no location in Victoria is any better than another.

Daniel

8

>Craig ->typical customer download speeds of 550kbps-8Mbps

Hey Craig, thats' a big variance!

Thanks for your Chinese style propaganda attempts.

Shaun

9

Perth just got WiMAX mobile broadband.... vividwireless. I get 9.8Mbps most of the time... and 16Mbps some of the time. It's perfect!!! 3G/HSDPA is epic fail

Geoff

10

Got to disagree with your findings i'm afraid.

In my experience Telstra have the highest download and upload speeds, with Optus coming in a close 2nd.

PC Authority got it right in this months issue - "Mobile Broadband Group Test" - if you want an informed and unbiased opinion, then I suggest you take a look at this publication.

George

11

Not only do I find the results of this 'testing' hard to believe (having used all the 3G networks, Telstra's is clearly faster) - the results are incomplete.

Where is the latency testing? Jitter testing? Perhaps the most limiting factor of mobile broadband is excessive latency. High latency significantly slows the speed at which websites load, limits multi-threaded internet apps and makes VoIP very difficult (at best!).

A quick comparison in my current location:
Telstra NextG latency: 515ms
ADSL2+ latency: 15ms

Tim Lohman

12

Broadband Expert has responded to Telstra's criticisms:
http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/342538/telstra_attacks_mobile_broadband_speed_survey_findings/

Peeved

13

Clearly my friends selling their Telstra shares in the hope this will weaken its position and eventually there is enough moment in market to drag us into the 21st century.

How many excuses can they come up with to continue to hold us all back.

unbelievable

johno

14

Telsta is clearly the fastest 3G mobile broadband with the best coverage. I have tried Optus and Vodaphone, not again.

Newly-Western

15

I get good speeds out of my Vividwireless 4G WiMax modem. Below is my fastest speedtest (almost 37Mbps). My average speed though is over 20Mbps. Not going back to 3G/HSPA after this.
http://www.ozspeedtest.com/bandwidth-test/results/11017966

kingtubby

16

All depends. We are in regional NSW, vastly under-resourced with base station infrastructure compared to cities. Local ADSL suddenly got totally congested thanks to Hellstra not upgrading DSLAM. Only other option was wireless GSM, which varies from non-accessible network (congestion) to barely acceptable (mostly) to good on rare occasions. Most of Australia's telecomms' industry is disingenuous, haphazardly managed and treats its customers with contempt. Where is government leadership, regulation, enforcement and planning for dealing with issues *now*, not constantly 5 years down the track?

olly

17

what a load of rubbish - I have Vodafone mobile broadband and it is currently downloading an MP3 at 15Kbps at best!!!

JB

18

I have Vodafone mobile broadband and I wish I didn't!
It constantly drops out and there are regular periods when I cannot get online at all!

colin somers

19

Boys and Girls
when I was a young lad I had to walk down to the end of the street and put in my twopence. With any sort of luck I could then make a phone call. All this stuff you'r talking about is called advancement.
In those days a mobile phone was something Dick Tracey used.
Don't give up hope things will get better

Jason

20

Sprouting the theoretical max speed (lab conditions), and real world speed (what you me, and the bloke down the street get) are two different things.

R S

21

Im more concerned about latency, not the download speed, of mobile broadband cards/dongles etc.

Real-time applications and games are intermittent or fail miserably, despite having a reported 7.2Mbps connection...

I live in the CBD and have never experienced ordinary mobile reception as good as I do here, yet the latency problem still exists.

Ping times of up to 1000mS or more are just ridiculous, throws the meaning of real-time right out the window. In some instances you will be waiting longer than 1000mS...

Obviously latency is not as bad over a fixed line connection. I wonder how well latency in Australia compares to all other nations.

Dan Morrison

22

Virgin Mobile is a virtual network operator, i.e. a virgin service uses exactly the same network infrastructure as Optus. I don't see the point in comparing them as seperate entities and frankly makes me dubious of those running the comparisons.

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