Vodafone is catching Telstra in 4G availability

Alex Kidman 15 June 2016


Telstra retains the 4G speed crown but its rivals are catching up fast according to a new report.

The general popular consensus in terms of mobile broadband networks is that, despite its recent rash of outages, Telstra sits in the lead chair, followed by Optus and then in a distant third by Vodafone. That's thanks partly to the now ancient Vodafail debacle, but also due to its lack of any 700Mhz spectrum for 4G. But how accurate is that viewpoint?

A new OpenSignal report, State Of Mobile Networks Australia casts some light on real world usage figures, availability and speed of the three major Australian carriers, and it suggests a picture that’s markedly different, with Vodafone consistently matching Telstra in overall 4G LTE availability, although Telstra still holds the overall speed crown.

It may actually be better news than that for Vodafone, with OpenSignal’s data suggesting its users have access to 4G services 77.61% of the time compared to 76.27% for Telstra customers, although OpenSignal considers this a draw in statistical terms.

Network4G AvailabilityDownload Speed (overall)3G Download speed4G Download speed

In terms of network responsiveness, Vodafone’s 3G network scored top honours for latency, where a lower (and therefore faster) score is desirable, but taking margins of error into account Optus and Vodafone are essentially level pegging and thus get a "draw" from OpenSignal. Still, that puts Telstra in the unusual position of coming last in the network race, a position it's not particularly familiar with.

Network3G latency4G latency

It’s worth noting that OpenSignal’s data is derived from consumers using its applications and providing data back that is reported upon. That means that while the report used 15,594,150 data samples, the number isn't a measure of actual users, because there were only 7,904 of those, with data taken from 1 February 2016 to 30 April 2016.

OpenSignal previously noted that in general, Australian mobile broadband ranks very highly in world terms, with Telstra being the 12th-fastest network in the world.

Latest telco deals on finder

When will you get the NBN?
When will you get the NBN?

Find out when the NBN is coming to your area with our tracker.

More info...
Compare iPhone 7 plans
Compare iPhone 7 plans

Compare iPhone 7 plans from Telstra, Optus, Virgin and Vodafone.

More info...
Need more data?
Need more data?

Find plans with more than 10GB from Telstra, Optus, Virgin and more.

More info...
Kogan Mobile: 12GB of data for $4.90
Kogan Mobile: 12GB of data for $4.90

Kogan Mobile's latest price blitz is seriously good value.

More info...

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question