Sunday, 02 May 2021 21:13

Opensignal's Australian 5G user experience report April 2021 - Telstra the outright winner


In the Australian battle for 5G supremacy, Telstra comes out on top, but despite Optus claiming the fastest 5G in Sydney and Melbourne, Opensignal appoints them both as joint 5G download speed winners.

Across operators, Opensignal says Telstra 5G users found a 5G signal in more locations than our users on Optus or Vodafone.

Telstra wins the inaugural Australian 5G Reach award, with a score of 3.5 out of 10 points, Optus is in second-place with 2.3 points and Vodafone in last place with a score of 1.2 points. 5G Reach measures how users experience the geographical extent of an operator’s 5G network.

It analyses the average proportion of locations where users were connected to a 5G network out of all the locations those users have visited. In simple terms, 5G Reach measures the extent of the mobile experience in all the locations that matter most to everyday users — i.e. all the places where they live, work and travel. 5G Reach for each operator is measured on a scale from 0 to 10.

Telstra and Optus are the joint winners of the 5G Download Speed award

Opensignal's Telstra and Optus users see the fastest 5G download speeds with average 5G download speeds of approximately 245 Mbps using both networks. However, there was a marked gap between Vodafone’s score and that of its rivals, as Opensignal's Vodafone 5G users observed average download speeds of 138.5 Mbps when connected to 5G, over 100 Mbps slower than experienced using Telstra or Optus.

On a personal note, I have experienced 500Mbps speeds in the suburb of Phillip on Vodafone 5G, a couple of months ago, where Telstra achieved 100Mbps download speeds. However, in my home Canberra suburb I saw Telstra 5G speeds of 631Mbps downloads last Tuesday, which is MUCH faster than I've seen before in my area, and where Vodafone 5G is unavailable, so Telstra has been working hard to increase its speeds - at least where I live.

Opensignal's Telstra users spent the most time connected to 5G

Telstra is the winner of the 5G Availability award with a score of 11.5%, four percentage points ahead of second-placed Optus and 7.5 percentage points ahead of Vodafone. Opensignal's 5G Availability quantifies the amount of time 5G users spend connected to 5G — the higher the percentage, the more time users on a network are actually connected to 5G.

Optus, Telstra and Vodafone tie across all three of Opensignal's 5G experiential metrics

Opensignal's 5G users did not see any statistically significant differences across all three operators’ networks in terms of the quality of experience when streaming video, communicating using over-the-top voice apps or playing multiplayer mobile games over a mobile 5G connection.

As a consequence, Optus, Telstra and Vodafone are joint winners of the 5G Video Experience, 5G Games Experience and 5G Voice App Experience awards. All three operators received Excellent (75 or above) ratings for 5G Video Experience, Good (75-85) ratings for 5G Games Experience and Good (80-87) ratings for 5G Voice App Experience. This indicates that there is some room for improvement, particularly in terms of these last two metrics.

The full report is available here.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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