COMPUTER BILD network test:O2 network with big leap forward in 4G coverage in the countryside

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Mallik Rao
"Compared to last year, O2 has made enormous progress in LTE coverage" - that is the conclusion of this year's network test of trade magazine COMPUTER BILD ("The best network for 2021"). The O2 network once again secured an overall "Good" (2.4) rating and improved in numerous important categories. This year's score is based on much stricter measurement criteria. For the first time, only 4G data connections are considered and 3G connections are no longer rated. Particularly pleasing for O2 customers: The O2 network is taking the biggest step forward in 4G availability in rural areas across all operators and is improving significantly. In addition, the O2 network cuts a good figure in large cities and leaves the competition behind in some cities. "The customer measurements in the COMPUTER BILD network test prove that we have a high-performance O2 network, especially in cities, and we have made a huge leap forward in our 4G rollout in rural areas this year. Our network expansion offensive is bearing fruit, the improvements are noticeable in many regions", says Mallik Rao, Chief Technology & Information Officer of Telefónica Deutschland / O2. "With our O2 network we already offer the best mobile phone coverage in Germany. On this basis, we are driving forward our 4G and 5G roll-out in the coming months and consistently improve the network experience of our O2 customers." The COMPUTER BILD network test is a so-called crowdsourcing test based exclusively on customer measurements. Over 48,000 participants have measured the quality of the German networks with their smartphones and the COMPUTER BILD network test app in recent months. The results thus reflect the real user experiences in everyday life.

O2 network with best basic mobile phone reception in Germany

According to the network test, the O2 network offers the best basic mobile phone reception for mobile telephony and SMS usage in Germany - both in large cities, small towns and in rural areas. This means: O2 customers have mobile phone reception with at least 2G in most places throughout Germany. In addition, O2 customers have the best reception within buildings nationwide. This is an important quality feature, especially during corona-related lockdowns, as everyone wants to stay connected at home.

O2 offers strong network in cities

Credits: Telefónica Deutschland
The O2 network shows a strong performance especially in large cities. According to the test, O2 customers in Munich, Dresden, Stuttgart and Hamburg have the best LTE availability across all operators. In Nuremberg, Frankfurt and Duisburg the O2 network shares the top position with another provider. In addition, O2 customers surf the fastest in Nuremberg with an average of 48 Mbit/s and in Stuttgart with 43.6 Mbit/s. With an average download speed of 27.8 Mbit/s, O2 customers in large cities have good speeds at their disposal. In rural areas, they are lower at an average of 17.4 Mbit/s, but still well above the 5-10 Mbit/s that customers need at least for mobile video streaming.

O2 network with strongest improvement in 4G availability in rural areas

The progress made by this year's O2 network expansion offensive is also reflected in the detailed results of the COMPUTER BILD network test: By consistently expanding 4G in rural areas, O2 is increasing the time consumers spend in 4G networks in rural areas by more than a third according to the network test - from 57.9 percent in the previous year to a now strong 81.6 percent. This means that the O2 network in rural areas is catching up with the competition and is only a few percentage points behind. In its network test, COMPUTER BILD also highlights the progress made by O2 in providing 4G coverage along the highways. This year, the testers have recognized good 4G coverage in the O2 network - apart from a few partial routes. Especially the 4G coverage along freeways is challenging for the network operators. These include, for example, the construction of possible sites, the consideration of nature conservation requirements and coordination with other parties involved. In the first ten months of this year alone, Telefónica Deutschland / O2 has already set up around 6,000 4G stations for better area coverage, bringing 4G to numerous towns and communities for the first time. Thanks to this expansion progress, the company also meets the coverage obligations of the Federal Network Agency in the federal states of Lower Saxony, Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, where the O2 network now covers at least 97 percent of the population with 4G. In North Rhine-Westphalia, O2 now already reaches 99 percent of the population, and in the city states of Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen it is even 100 percent.