• Catch issues early, fix them fast – Free trial


    [ad] With GFI Cloud you can easily manage and secure your remote workforce – wherever they are, from wherever you are! The simple IT management platform includes patch management, antivirus, web protection, monitoring and remote control. Get the benefit of endpoint protection with the ease of central management. Start a free trial now.


  • Great articles on other sites
  • RSS Great articles on other sites

  • Blog, Telecommunications - Written by on Friday, June 14, 2013 10:09 - 4 Comments

    First Vodafone 4G tests: It’s fast, but patchy

    vodafone-logo

    blog As you may have noticed, Australia’s third major mobile telco, Vodafone, finally launched its 4G mobile broadband network this week. The launch is late — quite late — compared to the mid-2011 4G launch by Telstra and the mid-2012 4G launch by Optus. But at this point, that’s hardly what’s important for Australian consumers. What we really need to know is how widely available the network is, and how it performs. Is it fast? Is it available everywhere you need it? Is it consistent? Is it secret? Is it safe? Wait, that’s another movie. OK, back on topic. This is important.

    The best series of tests we’ve seen so far come from Reckoner, a new Australian technology site of excellent quality that was launched this month by a collection of refugees from another popular local site, MacTalk, and that we highly recommend you subscribe to. Reckoner reports about Melbourne coverage (we recommend you click here for the full article):

    “Telstra was the most consistent, with decent speeds everywhere. Vodafone had a few bad patches where speeds and latency were awful. So even though Vodafone has a higher average speed, it crapped out in a few places, which was countered by the significantly faster speeds during peak times over Telstra & Optus.”

    And about Sydney:

    “These speeds are frankly insane, easily beating the highest speeds I’ve reached on Telstra’s 4G network, and my own home ADSL connection … If Vodafone can maintain these speeds and this reliability, then I’ll be seriously considering switching when my contract ends.”

    However, not everyone has been so impressed. Gizmodo, for instance, also found that Vodafone’s 4G network had high speeds, but also found it had patchy and inconsistent coverage:

    “In-building coverage can leave a bit to be desired at times, with only one bar travelling with you from the street to your desk, bedroom or kitchen, and speed tests sometimes fluctuated pretty wildly from really great speeds to really awful ones.”

    So far, it seems the tests pretty much demonstrate so far what it would be reasonable to expect from the early stages of Vodafone’s 4G launch. Due to its spectrum supremacy and the fact that there aren’t many people using the network yet, Vodafone’s 4G infrastructure does offer speeds that can in places be faster than those offered by Telstra or Optus. However, the telco is still lagging behind when it comes to the breadth of its network coverage.

    All in all, I think these early reviews represent a very solid start for Vodafone’s 4G infrastructure, and perhaps also a reason to consider sticking with Vodafone for a little while if you’re still hanging on with the telco. It’s network infrastructure is getting better fast, and while we are still confident you’ll have a better overall network experience on Telstra, and secondly Optus, a lot of people don’t like to switch their telecommunications company very often. These tests are encouraging news for those still hanging in there with the big V.

    submit to reddit

    4 Comments

    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    1. GongGav
      Posted 14/06/2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink |

      So this comes down to preference. Do you want consistent speed, or patchy speed with higher peaks?

      To put it a different way, do you prefer to drive 100 kms at a steady 50 km/h and take two hours, or do 75 km/h for 3/4′s of that distance, and 25 km/h for the remainder.

      Takes the same amount of time, but you get that patch of faster speed.

    2. Douglas
      Posted 14/06/2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink |

      You would expect the speeds to be great now when virtually nobody is on 4G with Voda!

      My experience as an early adopter with Telstra 4G was 30-50Mbps upload and download between North Sydney and the Inner West on Cityrail was pretty common.

      Now a bit over 12 months later (I think) and I sometimes find myself waiting for websites to load.

      • TrevorX
        Posted 15/06/2013 at 12:01 am | Permalink |

        That was always going to happen. I’m surprised it is already this bad though – I thought it would take another 6 months or so before people were bouncing off the contention wall on Telstra 4g.

    3. Goresh
      Posted 20/06/2013 at 11:07 pm | Permalink |

      The 1800MHz frequency rationalization is now complete in some areas and the additional spectrum has been brought online.
      Since LTE can only use 20MHz of bandwidth, it means that Optus and Telstra can now match Voda’s allocation in many metro markets.




    Get our 'Best of the Week' newsletter on Fridays

    Just the most important stories, one email a week.

    Email address:


  • Most Popular Content

  • Enterprise IT stories

    • Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp facepalm2

      If you have even a skin deep awareness of the structure of Australia’s superannuation industry, you’ll be aware that much of the underlying infrastructure used by many of the nation’s major funds — AustralianSuper, CBus, HESTA and more — is provided by a centralised group, Superpartners. One of the group’s main projects in recent years has been to dramatically update and modernise its IT platform — its version of a core banking platform overhaul. Unfortunately, as was revealed in November, the $250 million project has not precisely been going well, and the Financial Review last week reported that Superpartners is actually close to turfing it altogether and going back to the drawing board.

    • Qld’s Grant joins analyst firm IBRS peter-grant

      This week it emerged that Peter Grant, the two-time former Queensland Whole of Government CIO (pictured), has joined well-regarded analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services (IBRS). We’ve long had a high regard for IBRS, and so it’s fantastic to see such an experienced executive join its ranks.

    • Westpac dumps desk phones for Samsung Android mobiles samsung-galaxy-ace-3

      The era of troublesome desk phones tied to physical locations is gradually coming to an end in many workplaces, with mobile phones becoming increasingly popular as organisations’ main method of voice telecommunications. But some groups are more advanced than others when it comes to adoption of the trend. One of those is Westpac.

    • Ministers’ cloud approval lasted just a year reverse

      Remember how twelve months ago, the Federal Government released a new cloud computing security and privacy directive which required departments and agencies to explicitly acquire the approval of the Attorney-General and the relevant portfolio minister before government data containing private information could be stored in offshore facilities? Remember how the policy was strongly criticised by Microsoft, Government CIOs and Delimiter? Well, it looks like the policy is about to be reversed.

    • WA Govt can’t fund school IT upgrades oops key

      In news from The Department of Disturbing Facts, iTNews revealed late last week that Western Australia’s Department of Education has run out of money halfway through the deployment of new fundamental IT infrastructure to the state’s schools.

    • Turnbull outlines Govt ICT vision turnbull-5

      Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has published an extensive article arguing that the Federal Government needed to do a better job of connecting with Australians via digital channels and that public sector IT projects needn’t cost the huge amounts that some have in the past.

    • NZ Govt pushes hard into cloud zealand

      New Zealand’s national Government announced a whole of government contract this morning for what it terms ‘Office Productivity as a Service’ services. This includes email and calendaring services, as well as file-sharing, mobility, instant messaging and collaboration services. The contract complements two existing contracts — Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Content Management as a Service.

    • CommBank reveals Harte’s replacement whiteing

      The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has promoted an internal executive who joined the bank in September after a lengthy career at petroleum giant VP and IT services group Accenture to replace its outgoing chief information officer Michael Harte, who announced in early May that he would leave the bank.

    • Jeff Smith quits Suncorp for IBM jeffsmith4

      Second-tier Australian bank and financial services group Suncorp today announced that its long-serving top technology executive Jeff Smith would leave to take up a senior role with IBM in the United States, in an announcement which marks the end of an era for the nation’s banking IT sector.

    • Small business missing the mobile, social, cloud revolution iphone-stock

      Most companies that live and breathe the online revolution are not tech startups, but smart smaller firms that use online tools to run their core business better: to cut costs, reach customers and suppliers, innovate and get more control. Many others, however, are falling behind, according to a new Grattan Institute discussion paper.

  • Blog, Enterprise IT - Jul 5, 2014 13:53 - 0 Comments

    Super funds close to dumping $250m IT revamp

    More In Enterprise IT


    Blog, Telecommunications - Jul 5, 2014 12:12 - 0 Comments

    What should the ACCC’s role be in guiding infrastructure spending?

    More In Telecommunications


    Analysis, Industry, Internet - Jun 23, 2014 10:33 - 0 Comments

    ‘Google Schmoogle’ – how Yellow Pages got it so wrong

    More In Industry


    Blog, Digital Rights - Jun 30, 2014 22:24 - 0 Comments

    Will Netflix launch in Australia, or not?

    More In Digital Rights