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Vodafone's 4G Network: Hands-On And Speed Tests

We’ve just spent the afternoon with Vodafone’s 4G network, going right into how fast it is at different network capacities of 10MHz of spectrum and 20MHz of spectrum on a couple of different devices. Here’s how fast Vodafone 4G is.

More: Vodafone’s 4G Network Is Coming In May, Here’s Where You Can Get It

Testing Methodology

We spent the afternoon testing the network out of a tower in Bondi Beach, Sydney. The tower had 4G activated with 10MHz of contiguous spectrum for us to test with, then the tower was ramped up to 20MHz. We tested the speeds indoors at a restaurant.

The device we tested with was a Samsung Galaxy S III LTE, a Category 3 network device at both 10MHz and 20MHz. We also tested the network with a Huawei Category 4 4G modem.

We did three separate tests in a row, and will average out the three to determine our final result.

Vodafone ramped up the network from 10MHz to 20MHz to demonstrate its advantage over other networks. Vodafone has the most amount of spectrum available to its 4G network, being 20MHz, which means it’s able to deliver faster speeds and better performance during congested times. We won’t know if that’s legit, however until the network goes live in June.

10MHz Tests

Vodafone says that 10MHz of spectrum should give us theoretical maximum download speeds of up to 70Mbps and a theoretical maximum upload speeds of 25Mbps.

We started off at 10MHz and got these results.

10Mhz Results

Ping

26ms

Download Speed

50.3Mbps

Upload Speed

22.6Mbps


20Mhz Tests

Vodafone then ramped the network up to 20Mhz — the amount of contiguous spectrum Vodafone will operate its network on everyday.

Vodafone says that 10MHz of spectrum should give us theoretical maximum download speeds of up to 100Mbps and a theoretical maximum upload speeds of 40Mbps.

Here were the full results:

20Mhz Results

Ping

28.6ms

Download Speed

84.6Mbps

Upload Speed

34Mbps


That average download speed seems to have been brought down by one bad test, but for the majority of the day, everyone was reaching between 70Mbps and 100Mbps. The highest recorded was 107Mbps.

Category 4 Demo

This was less a test, more of a demonstration. Vodafone switched to a Category 4 device — a USB Modem from Huawei — to show the difference between it and a Category 3 device.

It used an internal Vodafone laptop and demonstrated moving a 5GB file across the internal server via FTP. Speeds topped out at just over 150Mbps.


What do you think of Vodafone’s 4G network?