Mobile data prices vary between carriers by very large margins. Mobile performance is now sufficiently good to compete with fixed line performance if your connection is over 2km from the nearest exchange or cabinet. 2Degrees have just released a mobile wifi unit which enables the technology of mobile broadband being an alternative in the home. But, prices for mobile broadband vary significantly.
TrueNet ventures into mobile broadband quality measurements. TrueNet has developed mobile probes for testing mobile broadband in New Zealand and the analysis of several months of testing has thrown up some interesting results.
New Zealand mobile carriers are either delivering great Browsing or Throughput experiences on Mobile Broadband, but none of the three carriers are providing great results in both categories. And especially interesting is that the carrier with the best file download speed (Throughput) also has the worst page download times (Browsing performance).
Although targets set appear achievable within the promised timeframe, Telecom currently falls short in achieving the planned increase in broadband speed to the home.
With testing units (probes) in many homes around the country TrueNet is in a position to get some real measurements on some real broadband commitments made to the government.
TrueNet's nationwide network of broadband probes (testing units) provides us sufficient data measurements to give reliable comment on throughput speed, i.e. the time it takes to download a file from a website such as a document or a song. The latest results for the first part of November show the "Throughput Speed" by area using data results from our test probes with full speed ADSL services.
Performance of ADSL is dependent on the distance between a user's modem and the DSLAM they are connected to.
The DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Modulator), is actually another modem at the opposite end of the copper wires connected to your house. The DSLAM equipment includes many modems, one for every user modem connected to a copper pair in the network.
There are guidelines on the "ideal" speed for any distance between the modem in a DSLAM and one in the home. TrueNet is the first to measure such performance in New Zealand, and the results are graphed below.
This article is intended to be of interest to technical specialists, more of an academic exercise for interest. We would appreciate comments.
TrueNet conducted a trial of a 5MB file downloaded to identify how long it takes before the maximum speed of a connection to be reached. The test involves downloading a file and measuring the speed of each decile (10%). The results for each tester were all over the place, some reached the maximum in the second decile, while others took until the 7th decile to reach the maximum.
TrueNet has operated its volunteer based testing service since the beginning of July 2010. The chart shows the average volunteers' speed to download a small 300KB file at 8pm each day compared with uploading the same file.
The 16th August shows an interesting change in speed.
Volunteers in this chart include some with cable, some on wireless and some who have chosen slow DSL speeds. They are however dominated by unlimited speed ADSL connections.
Early TrueNet results for Broadband speed and performance are comparable to Akamai tests reported on New Zealand connections.Analysis of Akamai Stats for NZ
Akamai has released it's "State of the Internet" report for the 1st quarter of 2010. Akamai measures download speeds from their servers located within many ISP networks which are used for frequently required files. The foremost being Microsoft and Apple updates, as well as many iTunes music files.
TrueNet, launched today, is a company dedicated to the accurate measurement and reporting of broadband performance. TrueNet is a joint venture between Catalyst IT, leading open source IT experts, and Jonette Consulting, a company specialising in broadband reporting analysis.
Computerworld (9 July 2010) reports that Graham Mitchell, the CEO of Crown Fibre Holdings is lamenting the size of sections in New Zealand. To get fibres to the home as planned, for many homes, fibre must be placed in the ground, from the road to the house, hence the problem. Innovative ways of getting them onto the ground are necessary if the project is to succeed - recall your driveway, paths, trees, fences - the underground fibre may need to go under them.