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Mobile phone network test Austria 2020: T-Mobile, A1 and Drei in the test

Austria's toughest network test

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CHIP network test Austria 2020

Traditionally, Austrian mobile radio networks are at a high to very high level. This is also proven by our network test 2020. The nice thing for Austrians: Compared to Germany, customers pay less for their contracts and receive an average better network that is also extremely fast.

It has become a popular sport, open to the public hammering in the German mobile networks and referring to their backwardness in international comparison. The Austrian Minister of Economics, Margarete Schramböck, was also unable to refuse this discipline at the end of January. At the start of the 5G introduction of A1 Telekom Austria, she said: “The worst mobile network in Austria is better than the best in Germany”. According to the results of our network test, which we carried out together with our partner NET CHECK, we would not, however, sign it.

Like Germany, three mobile networks are also fighting over each other in Austria the favor of customers. According to our measurements, two of them are ahead of all German network operators: the former state-owned company A1 and the Austrian Telekom subsidiary Magenta (formerly T-Mobile). But for Three, the third in Austria, we hardly give a very good grade this year. In an international comparison, Drei ends up behind both Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone. Overall A1 wins with grade 1, 16 conceivably just before magenta with a 1, 17 and thus regained the Austrian mobile phone throne this year. Three receives the grade 1, 64, so a “good” but not a “very good”.

Tight race: A1 recovers victory in the overall standings from Telekom subsidiary Magenta, but the lead is minimal. CHIP

A1 wins, magenta excellent, three weak

In the course of our measurements, we registered problems in the network of three on several days during the phone call and when accessing the YouTube live stream. These selective problems pull the rating down. We asked three of them the cause. The network operator suspects that they were triggered by a software error. This resulted in an unusually long call set-up for some days on the phone. The overall rating of three has worsened by more than 5 percentage points compared to the previous year.

In contrast, the two competitors, A1 and Magenta, grew by between one and two percent , Only a moderate increase, but typical for networks that had been extremely well developed along our measurement route in the past year. It is gratifying that all three networks in long-distance trains have improved considerably and compared to the previous year between 9 and 13 percent have increased. For the first time we rate the networks of A1 and magenta as very good in this scenario, whereby magenta with the grade 1, 38 just before A1 with a 1, 45 enforced. Three gets a good grade of 1, 93. This puts all three Austrian networks far ahead of the German ones in this discipline.

Year-on-year comparison: Overall, the networks remain at a high level, three even weaken. But on the trains they have grown considerably. CHIP

Classic calls versus Whats app calls

This year, in addition to classic phone calls, we also tested Whats App Calls, which are becoming increasingly popular. Both call paths work extremely reliably in the A1 and Magenta networks. The proportion of calls that did not come about on our test drive or were interrupted during the call is very low. The quotas for calls and Whats App Calls are between 0.5 and 1 percent.

The numbers don't look that good for three. Due to the problems in the telephone network, more than 1.8 percent of the calls were not made or were interrupted. The Whats app calls perform even worse. Technically, from the point of view of the network operator, they are not telephone calls, but are treated like normal web connections. Overall, we have a relatively large number of canceled Whats App Calls in the network of three, an error rate of almost 2.8 percent. This is striking in a discipline in which customers hardly expect any problems.

Overall, Magenta decides the sub-rating telephony with the school grade 1, 14 very close to himself with A1 (1, 17) close on the heels. While A1 makes a somewhat higher proportion of the calls without errors, Magenta connects the participants to each other a little faster. This is especially true for phone calls, with Whats App Calls we see little difference. Three still has some catching up to do on the phone calls, because the participants have to wait an average of almost 7 seconds for the connection to be established. In competitors' networks, this only takes between 4.2 and 4.7 seconds. This period of time applies from making the call to processing the call by the tool on the opposite side. This process is technically the same for all networks and preferably no network operator.

One weak point remains: all the networks have improved on the trains, but there are relatively frequent problems with Whats App Calls. CHIP

High-speed special in Austria

A1 wins the overall ranking with the tests on the mobile Internet. The former state-owned company wins the category with a grade of 1, 16. but here, too, the two competitors are very, very close together: magenta gets the grade 1, 19. As with telephoning, we registered problems that occurred sporadically for three during measurements in the data network. This primarily concerns the retrieval of our livestream from YouTube. Nevertheless, the network operator still achieved grade 1, 48 – just very good. Last year three was better.

The Austrian networks show an impressive speed across the board. The average download rates have increased again compared to last year. The test winner A1 leads in this discipline with a certain distance from the competition and comes to an average of 90, 1 Mbit / s. Magenta scored 77, 3 Mbit / s, followed by three with 65, 1 Mbit / s.

All three network operators provide their customers with faster data rates than even demanding tasks, such as downloading large files or calling up 4K films. As last year, A1 impressed with its network on country roads and motorways. The download cut is with 109, 4 Mbit / s even higher than in the cities (87, 3 Mbit / s).

Magenta does the opposite and is faster in cities than in the country. The magenta network is particularly good in central locations in city centers, as well as in shopping centers, airports and train stations, where the NET CHECK testers were on foot with a backpack system. Here magenta achieved with 83, 4 MBit / s even a higher download cut than A1 with 75, 8 Mbit / s.

Magenta also performed very well in the upload tests and settled with an average of 40, 4 Mbit / s just before A1 with 38, 7 Mbit / s. In the application tests such as YouTube streaming, calling up websites or uploading to Facebook, the two network operators are close together. Three also keeps up well with the measurements on YouTube.

Tempo maker: The Austrian networks allow extremely fast uploads and downloads. A1 and Magenta each specialize in one discipline. CHIP

Test drive through the Alpine Republic

The specialists from our partner NET CHECK have a total of over 5 for the network test. 500 kilometers through Austria traveled – from Lake Constance in the west to Burgenland in the east. You have 5 metropolises, 10 medium and 20 measure smaller cities more precisely , Two cars with measuring equipment are 2nd in these cities. 046 kilometers traveled. They placed a total of 2 on motorways and country roads. 548 kilometers back. In addition, the testers were also traveling with a backpack. In doing so, she examines the inner cities of the five metropolises of Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck, Linz and Salzburg on foot and in public transport. Here you have a total of 53 measured for hours. With the backpack also the network quality in the long-distance trains over a distance of 843 kilometers.

NET CHECK did the tests on 27 Smartphones carried out: 9 Samsung Galaxy S8 have data transfers, website visits and uploads too Facebook done. 18 Samsung Galaxy S8 has NET CHECK for phone calls and Whats App Calls used (details on You can find the test procedure here ). During the journey, the smartphones were mounted in a box on the car roof. This enabled the testers to use the smartphone's internal antennas to test the networks under realistic everyday conditions. The data was collected using the Benchmarker II test system, which is manufactured by the Mobile Network Testing division of the Munich-based company Rohde & Schwarz. The testers from NET CHECK were on foot and on the trains with a Freerider III from Rohde & Schwarz MNT integrated in the backpack.

Test setup: Our partner NET CHECK carried out the measurements on Samsung Galaxy S8. The cell phones were mounted upright in the roof box of the measuring car. CHIP

5G determines the next year

Good mobile telephony with cheap tariffs with high data volume tempt to pull more and more data over the radio networks. This trend is not unique to Austria, and no change is in sight. The maximum of 10 GByte for 10 Euro at a relatively decent LTE speed has been the rule of thumb for customers willing to book for a few years now.

So it's a good thing that the last network operator started his 5G network in January, too, because this ensures a significantly higher network capacity in the long term. Mobile phone tariffs with 5G can also be booked, and there is no limit to the data volume – apart from three, which limits data consumption via the 5G network.

But customers still have to dig deep into their pockets for unlimited 5G. In the Magenta network 55 Euro due, A1 starts at 65 Euro. 5G networks are still only available selectively in Austria, but according to Thomas Arnoldner, head of the A1 Telekom Austria Group, his latest 2023 are available nationwide. In any case, we will get a detailed picture this year and publish the results in the next network test for Austria at the latest.

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