Price-performance winner at Smartphone Magazine network test:O2 network awarded with "good" rating
In the current network test of Smartphone Magazine, the O2 network was awarded with a "good" rating. With 310 points, O2 is at eye level with the runner-up in the overall ranking (312 points). Among other things, the O2 network scored with the best network coverage in Germany (99.96 percent) and strong results in YouTube streaming or ping times. This year's network test focused on drive tests in rural areas; larger cities were mostly avoided. The good results for the O2 network are proof that customers throughout Germany - even beyond very well covered cities - benefit from a high-performance network. In combination with the attractive O2 tariffs, the network was also able to assert itself as price-performance winner in this year's network test. Smartphone Magazin rated the three German network operators in the categories YouTube streaming, browser test (HTTP), data transfer, voice and network coverage. In addition, around 600 readers were asked about their provider, for example about network quality, service and tariff selection. The O2 network also scored "good" in this category. The magazine last published a network test in 2016. This was based on active customer measurements using a network test app. This year, the trade magazine used a new survey methodology and carried out a so-called drive test with the network test partner Dalmus Commercial Agency for the first time.
Network expansion measures have a positive impact
The good performance of the O2 network in the network test is the positive result of the massive network expansion progress in recent months. Telefónica Deutschland implements the largest LTE expansion program in the company's history and commissions around 10,000 additional LTE transmitters. Currently, a new LTE transmitter is going live in the O2 network about every hour. Network expansion is currently concentrating primarily on rural areas. The comprehensive expansion measures will significantly increase the measured values of LTE coverage in the future. Telefónica Deutschland is also focusing on improving the network experience in cities and along important traffic routes.
O2 is price-performance winner
The network is an important factor in the digital everyday life of mobile phone customers. But an outstanding and harmonious customer experience requires a suitable overall package consisting of tariffs, service and network as well as an excellent price/performance ratio. Therefore, the magazine also published a tariff comparison in which tariffs with large data packages of 10 GB were compared with each other. Due to the good price and the comprehensive tariff features - including the O2 Free surfing guarantee of 1 Mbit/s after consumption of the included data volume - O2 was awarded price performance winner in the network test.
"We have massively improved our network quality this year"
4 questions for Michael Häberle, Director Network Operations & Quality at Telefónica Deutschland Michael Häberle: In the division led by Michael Häberle, the quality of the O2 network is continuously analyzed and quality targets as well as optimization proposals for the further network expansion are derived. In a short interview, we talked to him about the upcoming annual network tests. In the coming weeks, the network tests of the specialist magazines connect, CHIP and COMPUTER BILD will be published. What can we expect compared to last year? Michael Häberle: Last year's network test results were very pleasing for us. We have improved in all three network tests in 2018, mainly significantly. The results reflected our quality improvements due to the network integration that has been completed and our LTE expansion progress. Of course, I cannot make any predictions for this year's network tests. The fact is that we have massively improved our network quality this year. Our internal quality indicators show a positive trend. Because we are currently implementing the largest LTE expansion program in our company's history and many other optimization measures in the network division. Of course, we also need to consider that the methodology used by the network testers is regularly changing or tightening up. Last year, for example, connect integrated crowdsourcing results into its evaluation for the first time and assessed individual thresholds for achieving points more strictly. This then flows restrictively into the results. We can therefore look forward with great anticipation to this year's network test results. We are all the more pleased when our massive quality improvements, which are already visible in everyday customer life, are also reflected in the results. How are such network test results actually created? What are the differences? Michael Häberle: Every network test is different. This applies to the methodology, the threshold values and the evaluation. When collecting data, the network test specialists often rely on so-called drive and walk tests. Here, certain routes are driven or walked with measuring equipment. The results show an excerpt of the network performance at a certain point in time. In addition, crowdsourcing data is increasingly used. Customers can either actively carry out a network test measurement using an app, or regular measurements are carried out in the background of the app. An overall picture is put together from these numerous individual customer measurements. In addition to the active tests, data is also collected from the actual service usage, i.e. when the customer browses the Internet or watches a video. It is interesting to note that the data rates determined in crowdsourcing are generally significantly lower than for a pure speed measurement, since no high data rates are required for the data services typically used by the customer. In addition to the dependencies of the network technology such as 2G, 3G and 4G or the service used, the used device is of course also decisive: if it cannot use 4G yet, data rates can also be lower. Thus there are often differences in the reported data rates, depending on the measurement methodology, calculation or framework conditions of the customer. Recently, the LTE network speed in major German cities was analyzed in a separate study. The average speed in the O2 network had improved from 30 to 37 Mbps. Are there any further explanations? Michael Häberle: Our O2 customers currently surf our network at an average speed of around 40 Mbps. Last year it was 30 Mbit/s. We have therefore taken a huge step forward with our comprehensive network expansion measures. With these average data rates, our customers can use all digital applications. For smooth YouTube streaming, only about 5 Mbit/s are required. And even for streaming in HD quality, Sky recommends an Internet connection of at least 8 Mbps. We therefore offer solid data rates for the use of all applications. Of course, we will continue to upgrade our network capacity on a large scale as our customers' data usage continues to grow. What do such data rates say about the performance of the network? Michael Häberle: It is important that customers have the data rates they need to use their digital applications. It is not about any top data rates. In addition, such results should focus on the performance of the entire network and not reduce it to core brand characteristics. After all, mobile usage is known to be a shared medium in which all users in a network share the available network capacities. Not all results automatically apply to second or partner brands - and thus to the actual performance of the entire network. As Telefónica, we are the only German network operator to offer the fast LTE network to all customers of our own and partner brands. This means that our LTE network also handles a much larger volume of data. And yet our network enables us to offer millions of customers of our own and partner brands a good and continuously better network experience. An increase in data rates is therefore the result of very extensive LTE capacity upgrades that benefit all customers equally. This is also confirmed by the recently published Mobile Discounter Check 2019 published by the trade magazine connect, in which Telefónica was named the best network operator for mobile discounters. And in an analysis by network test specialist Tutela in summer, for example, we were able to secure the first place in network quality in four out of five major cities tested. The customer experience of second and partner brands in the network was also included here in order to present a holistic view of the network.