Which is the best network in a country? There's several ways to answer this questions. A simple answer is that whichever network serves a customer best at a certain location wins at that location. But people are always on the move so in addition to a network serving particular areas individual subscribers are most of their time (i.e. their homes and offices) it is also important to have good coverage along their daily commute routes and also at the places where they spend their vacation, where they go and watch a game, etc. And now the answer to the question has become a lot more difficult. Network tests that published in German news papers are a good indications of how well network cover a country and the 2014 'Connect' magazine test has again undertaken to analyze the mobile networks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The report is available in English as a PDF file here and it makes for interesting reading.
Here are some of my findings:
- When comparing this year's results for Germany with those of last year the values have remained pretty much on the same level.
- The other networks in Germany have improved their performance quite significantly compared to last year.
- While the winner in Germany can certainly be proud of its performance, the winners in Austria and Switzerland still surpass it easily. Downlink data transmission rates for a 10 MB file in the Austrian A1 network are on average still significantly higher than in Germany.
- In my blog entry to last year's Connect test I hoped they would also include train tips in their measurements. To my pleasant surprise they have done so and conclude that Switzerland is a travelers dream when it comes to connectivity while especially Germany lacks behind. Time to catch up because I am well aware that the good coverage along the railway line I use a lot is an exception rather than the norm. So network operators in Germany, go have a look how they have done it in Switzerland and do the same!