Although Telstra has beat out Optus and Vodafone in mobile-broadband speed tests by research house IDC, the telco says that the results are not a true reflection of the Next G network.
The report released yesterday found that Telstra topped over 1000 tests of uploads and downloads on mobile broadband in Sydney and Melbourne in the last quarter of 2011, beating rivals Optus and Vodafone. For downloads, Telstra averaged 4500 kilobits per second (Kbps), while Optus managed 3000kbps on average, and Vodafone reached just over 2 megabits per second (Mbps) on average. For uploads, Telstra achieved 1200Kbps, Optus 600Kbps and Vodafone 700Kbps.
The report found that while download speeds across the board have increased by 10 per cent since 2010, average upload speed has slowed by 30 per cent. Latency, however, improved by 25 per cent in the year, according to IDC.
Overall, Sydney beat out Melbourne in terms of network performance, with an average download speed of 3500Kbps, while Melbourne averaged 2637Kbps.
Despite topping its rivals, Telstra told ZDNet Australia that it believed it would have done even better had IDC been using Telstra's Ultimate broadband dongle.
"Unfortunately, IDC didn't test network speeds using the BigPond Ultimate USB modem, which was launched in October 2010. We suspect a comparison using this device (which was our primary mobile-broadband product at the time of testing) would have revealed an even larger performance gap."
Optus said the results were "particularly pleasing as the testing took place before a number of new initiatives that we have begun to rollout in 2012".
Vodafone had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.
IDC Australia associate research director Dustin Kehoe said in a statement that upload speed limitations would present some challenges to telcos when supporting smartphones and tablets.
The results come as the telcos look to long-term evolution (LTE) to ease up congestion on their networks. Telstra already has its network up and running in over 80 locations across Australia, with the HTC Velocity and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 running on that network in addition to broadband dongles. Optus will launch its LTE network in Newcastle in April, while Vodafone has not set a date for launching its LTE network, instead focusing on upgrading its 3G to HSPA+.
It has been speculated that Apple will tomorrow morning announce that the new iPad will be LTE compatible.