Which telcos have the fastest 4G and 5G networks? Here’s the data

Aussie telco customers now know which of the big three are performing the best.

Aussie telco customers now know which of the big three are performing the best. Photo: Getty

Australia’s 4G and 5G networks have been tested to find which of the three major telcos are the best performers.

Optus, Vodafone and Telstra have been ranked in the mobile experience awards compiled by Opensignal.

While Opensignal’s awards did not take telcos other than Optus, Vodafone and Telstra into account, real-world data gathered between January 1 and March 31 this year was analysed to compare how the three national operators stack up.

Telstra’s average download speed of 59.6 Megabits per second (Mbps) was 7 per cent faster than those on second-placed Optus and 24.6 per cent faster than Vodafone.

(Scroll to the bottom for full list of 4G and 5G category winners)

Telstra also raced ahead of its competition in the 5G upload speed category, with its average 17.6Mbps more than 14 per cent ahead of the other telcos.

But when it comes to 5G download speed, Optus was the winner thanks to its average download speed of 229.6Mbps – 6.8 per cent faster than those seen by Telstra users and more than double Vodafone’s 106.8Mbps.

This is the third report in a row in which Optus has been the outright winner of the 5G download speed award, but all three operators’ scores have fallen since the last report, with Telstra and Vodafone users seeing the largest declines.

Vodafone took out the award for best overall upload speed experience award, thanks to its score of 9.4Mbps, which was 9.6 per cent faster than second-placed Telstra and 22.3 per cent faster than Optus.

Consumer backlash

Telstra came out on top overall, scoring seven awards (including one joint win with Optus), taking out the awards ranging from best 5G upload speed to best core consistent quality.

However, the telco’s good performance doesn’t seem to be pacifying consumers, with Telstra ranking as the third most distrusted brand in Australia, according to the latest Roy Morgan ‘Net Trust’ rankings.

Telstra’s ranking is an improvement on the previous report, with Optus taking over the spot for second most distrusted brand after severe data breaches in 2022 forced many customers to replace important ID documents such as passports and driver’s licences.

A class action against Optus involving 100,000 customers affected by the data hack was lodged this year.

But the telco’s service is still providing the goods, with Optus scoring six wins including best 5G download speed, and narrowly beating out the other two telcos for best availability.

Relatively scandal-free, Vodafone scored four awards, including for best upload speed experience and best 5G availability.

This comes after Vodafone, under TPG, had a proposed merger with Telstra knocked-back by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in December.

The proposed deal would have allowed Telstra and TPG to use each other’s mobile network infrastructure in regional areas to provide wider-ranging 4G and 5G services to each other’s customers.

The ACCC cited concerns over a decline in competition if the merger was to take place, with Telstra holding a 48 per cent share of the national post-paid mobile plan market and TPG/Vodafone holding 18 per cent as of 2022.

In January, the telcos began the formal process of challenging the ACCC’s decision.

Full list of winners:

Video experience – Optus

Games experience – Optus

Download speed – Telstra

Upload speed – Vodafone

5G video experience – Telstra and Optus

5G games experience – Vodafone

5G voice app experience – Vodafone

5G download speed – Optus

5G upload speed – Telstra

Availability – Optus

5G availability – Vodafone

5G reach – Telstra

4G coverage experience – Telstra

Excellent consistent quality – Telstra

Core consistent quality – Telstra

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