The nation's number two telco Optus today defended the performance of its 3G mobile network and said it was working to improve customers' experience on it.
The telco has come under fire over the past year due to drop outs, slow data access and at times patchy coverage on the network. Some customers have even set up a #badoptus hashtag on Twitter to document concerns.
Although when asked about the issue today at an event to discuss a trial of its planned Long Term Evolution (LTE) upgrade, Optus executives were upbeat.
"We've made a significant amount of investment over the past few years, particularly in response to ... very aggressive rising demand," said Andrew Smith, Optus' mobile network director. "We believe through our own measures — and we've been vindicated through external measures as well — that we've made some substantial improvements in the quality."
Smith said the telco was "continually improving" the network, whether it be when Optus invested in new infrastructure, or whether it was optimising or tweaking it.
Henry Calvert, Optus director of mobile access and broadband products, said customers could also look at some of the independent reports in the market and reviews by test labs to verify the company's claims. "You can see that Optus has certainly gained momentum in improving its network, and we'll continue to do that," he said.
In a report published in early June, research house IDC claimed Optus' 3G mobile broadband offering was only 4 per cent behind Telstra's Next G network across a range of criteria — despite acknowledging that Telstra's network was on average 60 per cent faster.
"Optus' performance soared in 2009, scoring similarly to Telstra, although slightly more network fall-back was experienced. However, performance was fairly consistent and well above both of VHA's networks," said IDC telecommunications market analyst Mark Novosel in a statement at the time.