Scope of Work
Omnitele has measured and analysed the customer experience of mobile voice and data services in the Netherlands. Measurements were conducted in February 2017. The investigated service providers were KPN, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Tele2. Omnitele executes its benchmarks according to an internally standardised method that guarantees the independent character of the benchmarks. Further information on project method and accountability can be found here.
4G Telephony (VoLTE) added to benchmark
This customer experience benchmark is a repetition of the benchmark that Omnitele has carried out in 2016. Last year’s survey focused on the testing of nationwide coverage of 4G (LTE) mobile services.
Last year though, the Dutch mobile providers did not offer the possibility of telephony using the 4G network. 2G and 3G network were still used for the handling of telephony calls. The technology that is used for 4G telephony is called VoLTE (Voice over LTE). VoLTE is presently offered by most of the Dutch mobile providers. VoLTE is the mobile version of Voice over IP (VoIP) services, which for example have been used for fixed telephony for a considerable amount of time already.
Beside the measurement of 4G data services and so called legacy 2G and 3G telephony service, this survey was focused on the measurement of this new 4G telephony service. The objective was to find out what the VoLTE customer experience was rendered by the Dutch mobile providers and how this would compare to the customer experience of the traditional legacy 2G and 3G voice services.
Omnitele concludes, based on the observed results – and within the time and location context of the benchmark campaign – that the VoLTE telephony service represents a significant improvement in customer experience compared to the legacy 2G and 3G telephony services. VoLTE was offered by Tele2, Vodafone and KPN at the moment of execution of this survey in February. The VoLTE measurement results of these mobile providers show both a decrease in the call set up time as well as an improvement of the voice quality of the conducted voice calls.
When comparing the VoLTE customer experience of the measured mobile providers, it shows that on average the VoLTE voice quality is equal for all measured mobile providers. However, KPN is on average approximately half-a-second faster in the call setup times than Vodafone and Tele2.
LEGACY MOBILE VOICE
Traditional 2G and 3G legacy voice results indicate that the KPN voice quality results are marginally higher than T-Mobile and Vodafone with a more clear difference to Tele2. The improvement in voice quality between the VoLTE and legacy voice services is therefore most noticeable for Tele2.
In call setup times T-Mobile is on average two seconds faster than KPN and Tele2, who both are on average two seconds faster than Vodafone. However, overall the call setup times are considerably longer than the VoLTE call setup times.
The differences between the mobile providers are negligible with respect to the customer experience of the measured data applications Web browsing, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Dropbox. An average difference of 0.3 seconds is measured between the fastest and slowest providers for the completion of the various application sessions. The biggest differences can be seen in Dropbox data throughput performance, where KPN and T-Mobile come out on top, followed by Tele2 and Vodafone.
4G LTE COVERAGE
Looking at the investigated 4G coverage, it may be concluded that Tele2 is now on equal par with the other three providers. It may now be stated that nationwide 4G coverage has been completed for all four operators (which does not mean that no 4G coverage problems may occur locally in for example indoor locations). Not only Tele2, but all mobile providers show an improvement in their 4G LTE coverage levels when comparing this year’s results with last year’s results.
Similar to 2016, the results show that the customer experience of mobile services in Netherlands is in general terms again on a very good level. The VoLTE voice quality results are equal to the results of measurement which Omnitele has carried out in similar European markets. The average call setup times in the Dutch survey appear to be a bit faster in comparison with the results obtained from these similar markets.
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