O2 and Vodafone in web speed spat

Vodafone and O2 have both come out on top in a survey commissioned by O2, looking at operator speeds in both web page access and music download.

The independent study, by network specialist, Siroda, compared the data speeds of all five UK operators. The tests, conducted over a 60 day period across 150 UK locations, measured mobile data connection speed at peak periods throughout the day.

The tests show that in January 2010, O2 offered the fastest average web page access experience in London at 1.7 seconds, over 30% quicker than the slowest operator. Outside London, the right to claim the fastest web access speed was shared between all five operators.

However, O2 was not forthcoming with Mobile Business in providing all the details of which operator was snapping at its heels in London, or indeed, any other breakdown data of the other cities looked at in the study.

In a basic table that does not provide high level detail, O2 showed that whereas O2 was top in four UK cities for web page access speed, tying with Orange and T-Mobile, Vodafone came top in five cities. 3 came top in just three.

Vodafone UK commented it was pleased that O2 has recognised Vodafone has the fastest mobile internet browsing in Britain. “This week’s independent study by O2 is a welcome endorsement of Vodafone having the best network in the UK. We’re seeing continued high demand for our range of smartphones, including the iPhone, driven by customers enjoying a great experience from our outstanding network,” stated Guy Laurence, CEO for Vodafone UK.

O2 came top in 12 UK cities for music download speeds, followed by Vodafone in five, T-Mobile in two, and 3 in one. Orange did not come top in any cities for music download speed.

Derek McManus, CTO for O2 UK, commented on Vodafone’s statement: “Ambitious claims are made about network speeds but the situation is far from clear cut. Accurate information and transparency are crucial in helping customers make sure they get the best from their mobile network.

“We commissioned this survey to make sure no one is misled. O2 offers faster speeds in many cities, and other operators in others. We offer an industry leading 14 day happiness guarantee, so if customers are not happy with the speeds they’re getting, they can bring the device back. We urge customers to use coverage checkers before they purchase a phone or mobile broadband dongle.”