CHIP network test Austria 2020
Nomen est Omen: Three is in third place in Austria. The network is of good quality, but we also found problems during our measurements. Our rating of three is therefore lower this year than in the previous year. The network only gets the grade “good”.
Last year Drei upgraded his network and technically updated his 4G network with the introduction of VoLTE. The result was that Drei received a very good rating in our ranking for the first time. This year we registered a step backwards, which is connected with extraordinary circumstances: While the NET CHECK testers traveled through Austria by car and backpack, they registered a cluster of bad values on a few days that are otherwise unusual for the network.
We contacted the network operator and received the response that Drei had software problems in his network during the measurement period, which did not lead to failures, but among other things caused long call setup times. These difficulties have an impact on the overall result, and as a result we have registered a decline in network quality for three compared to last year.
This affects not only the absolute evaluation, but also the relative comparison between the measurements of 2019 and 2020. Here we get a deterioration of 5, 11 percent in the overall rating. In the telephony three comes to a minus of 9, 23 percent, while the results for the mobile Internet a minus of 3, 31 percent. That all sounds more negative than it actually is, because overall we give the mobile network of three the school grade 1, 64, which just missed a very good rating. There are also positive things to report: In the long-distance trains, the network increased by 9 compared to the previous year, 21 percent.
Make calls with long waiting times
The problems in the three network have the greatest impact on our telephony rating. The network operator receives from us only the school grade of 1, 95, because compared to A1 and magenta three is behind in several points. On average, the call setup in the three network takes 6, 54 seconds about two seconds longer than with A1 or magenta. During the mentioned software problems we have many measurements with a very long call build-up of over 15 seconds collected. Their share in the three network is a high 5, 73 percent. They should remain the absolute exception as with magenta (0, 05 percent) or A1 (0, 14 percent) .
With normal telephone calls in the three network, the establishment of the connection and the calls themselves are fairly reliable, if not as error-free as in the networks of the competition. It looks a little different for WhatsApp calls. Here, 2.1 percent of the calls were canceled in between. Magenta and A1 come to a quota of 0, 62 percent. The main reason for the failures are the measurements on the train journey, since almost every fifth WhatsApp call did not go through completely. We also measured a higher dropout rate than usual at the focal points in inner cities. Since WhatsApp calls are made via normal internet connections, these results indicate that the mobile internet of three is plagued by problems on the train and in the city centers.
YouTube as a touchstone
The application test that is the most challenging for the networks is the retrieval of a live stream from YouTube in HD format. We analyze, among other things, how high the proportion of streams is, in which at least 15 percent of errors appear. We count as errors if the image freezes, frames are lost or only a black image is displayed.
In the city center, three has an error rate of 2, 64 percent and on trains even 3.6 percent. Compared to the A1 and Magenta odds, that's a lot, because they are one percent and far below. As with the calls, we also registered temporary problems in the three network when accessing the streams. These mainly concerned two days on which the NET CHECK testers were on foot with their backpack in Vienna: almost every fifth stream had a very long start time: it took more than 10 seconds until the video started on the smartphone. For A1 and magenta, this rate is between 0.5 and 1 percent. In addition, the success rate for accessing the stream in Vienna was only catastrophic 52 58 percent, while the competition makes no mistakes.
Across all data measurements Drei maintains a respect distance to A1 and magenta, but the measurements themselves are pretty good. Three achieves a download cut of 65 MBit / s and comes on an upload of 31, 5 Mbit / s. Drei reached on motorways and country roads with almost 75 MBit / s almost the download cut of magenta. The worst 10 percent of all downloads in this scenario are below 22, 3 MBit / s, which is even better than magenta with only 20, 8 Mbit / s. Both networks have no chance against A1.
Overall, the mobile network of three can be classified as fast, especially since the pace is more than sufficient for most everyday tasks. This also applies to difficult scenarios: 90 Percent of all downloads on the train are faster than 6.9 Mbit / s. In Germany one dreams of such values, Deutsche Telekom comes to 1, 35 MBit / s.