Telstra the fastest mobile and fixed telco: Ookla

Download speeds on Telstra's mobile network average 53.42Mbps, according to Ookla, while its top download speeds across fixed-line are 72.99Mbps.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor on

Telstra is the fastest mobile and fixed-line broadband provider, according to the latest reports from Ookla, with mobile downloads averaging 53.42Mbps and top download speeds across its fixed-line networks coming in at 72.99Mbps.

According to Ookla's mobile speed test report for Q1-Q2 2018 [PDF], Telstra's average download speed was 53.42Mbps; Vodafone's was 46.95Mbps; and Optus' was 45.05Mbps. Telstra also had the fastest average upload speed of 17.53Mbps, with Vodafone following on 13.32Mbps and Optus trailing on 10.14Mbps.

Ookla reported Optus as having the lowest latency, however, at 28 milliseconds, while Vodafone's average latency was 30ms and Telstra's 31ms.

Overall, Australian carriers provided an average download speed of 49.17Mbps, upload speed of 14.12Mbps, and latency of 30ms.

In compiling the mobile report, Ookla performed 1.7 million tests across 481,125 unique devices; however, only iPhones were used in the speed tests: 47,780 iPhone X devices; 42,441 iPhone 7 devices; 33,332 iPhone 7 Plus devices; 30,810 iPhone 6s devices; and 27,646 iPhone 6 devices.

Telstra also took out Ookla's fastest fixed network award [PDF], with a top download speed of 72.99Mbps, top upload speed of 20.14Mbps, and an average latency of 32ms.

TPG was the second fastest fixed-line provider, according to Ookla, with download speeds of 71.89Mbps, upload speeds of 34.35Mbps, and latency of 30ms. Optus had the third-fastest top download speed of 69Mbps but its top upload speed of 27.46Mbps was trumped by iiNet's 32.61Mbps. iiNet had a top download speed of 63.64Mbps and latency of 37ms, while Optus' average latency sat at 30ms.

iPrimus recorded the lowest latency, at 28ms, but the slowest top download speed of 46.86Mbps and slowest upload speed of 28.39Mbps.

Ookla's fixed-line report involved 15.8 million tests across 9.7 million users, 3.4 million of which were on Telstra, 1.8 million on Optus, 1.4 million on iiNet, 1.3 million on TPG, and more than 413,000 on iPrimus.

Telstra executive director of Network Infrastructure and Engineering Channa Seneviratne said the fixed-line speed wins reflects Telstra's investments in its ADSL, hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC), and National Broadband Network (NBN) services, along with upgrades to its backhaul.

Across its mobile speed win, Seneviratne pointed to Telstra's 4G network reaching 99 percent of the Australian population, and its gigabit-capable speeds, with the telco also planning to deploy 2Gbps capabilities later this year.

"No survey or measure is perfect, and each have their limitations," Seneviratne said.

"But what matters most is consistently winning in credible surveys, especially on the more important metrics of data speed and performance. That is where Telstra shines through across more than a dozen different awards in recent years and where we are committed to continuing to lead."

Earlier this week, however, the second NBN speed-monitoring report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) ranked Telstra next to last in providing the download speeds consumers are paying for.

According to Measuring Broadband Australia: Report 2, July 2018 [PDF], Aussie Broadband delivered 89.1 percent of its maximum plan speeds overall and 88.3 percent during busy hours for downloads.

It was followed by TPG, at 86 percent overall and 85.6 percent in busy hours; iiNet, at 85 percent overall and 83.4 percent during busy hours; Optus, at 83.9 percent overall and 83.3 percent during busy hours; Telstra, at 81 percent overall and 79.9 percent during busy hours; and lastly MyRepublic, at 79.5 percent overall and 74.4 percent during busy hours.

Telstra scored lowest on upload speeds, providing 79.8 percent of maximum plan speeds overall and 79.7 percent in busy hours.

Despite its lower scores, Telstra had the fastest average webpage-loading time, at 2.8 seconds, followed by TPG and Aussie Broadband at 3.1 seconds, iiNet at 3.2 seconds, and Optus and MyRepublic at 3.4 seconds.

The ACCC explained this by saying latency was lowest on Telstra, at 13.5 milliseconds overall in comparison to iiNet's 14.3ms, Optus' 14.7ms, TPG's 15ms, Aussie Broadband's 16.1ms, and MyRepublic's 20.2ms.

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