Clear differences in flagship mobile phones' connection speed, study says

Feb 19, 2014
Study: Clear differences in flagship mobile phones' connection speed
Free Netradar app is available for mobile devices on Android, iOS, Windows Phone and many other platforms.

Flagship models of Apple, LG, Samsung and Nokia phones provide users with remarkably different mobile network connection speed compared to each other. According to Netradar, a free mobile application to measure mobile connections and devices, there are remarkable differences in the connection speed between different models. Impartial Netradar is developed and run by Aalto University in Finland.

"People often say that their wireless operator is bad and has a bad network. However, the problem is often in the device they use. There are huge differences in the quality of the devices, not simply the screen size, processor or storage, but also the radio hardware and antenna. The difference can be seen as slow and unstable data connectivity", says professor Jukka Manner, who leads the development of the system.

The single fastest download speeds the system has recorded in a commercial public LTE mobile network are from an LG G2 D802 at 113.6 Mbps, a Samsung Galaxy S4+ at 108.5 Mbps, a LG Nexus 5 at 100.6 Mbps, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at 98.9 Mbps and a Nokia Lumia 820 at 96.5 Mbps.

The list of the 150 most popular out of all 1300 device models in the data base is available at: http://www.netradar.org/top-150-devices.pdf . The results are based on 2.4 million measurements done by 76,000 application users.

Netradar provides the widest set of measurements and analysis of any measurement system. The results are scientifically verified. By using Netradar, an end user can compare the performance of his own operator and device to the competing offerings.

An app user can check mobile operator coverage maps at netradar.org.

"A higher price often gives some confidence that the device can also give good and stable data rates. Yet, we can also identify devices that are moderately priced and still give great speeds, and on the other hand, there are expensive devices that have very poor performance. Our algorithms can also identify users who have a great device, but their mobile data plan is bit rate limited", says Sebastian Sonntag, a doctoral candidate in the team.

The free app measures quality in terms of download and upload speed, latency, and signal strength, even network problems and the performance of individual brands of smart phones and tablets. Mobile device users can download the Netradar app for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Meego, Symbian and Jolla/Sailfish.

The Netradar platform and analytics are present at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February at the 4 Years From Now event. The developers together with Aalto University have launched a start-up to develop the public consumer service further and to help the mobile industry and other stakeholders with their technology.

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