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?


Comments

    I'll pass judgement once it's out and how it copes with the demand.

      Given that Vodafone are the only ones on the 20mHz spectrum, and the fact that they are losing more customers than my grandpa is hair, the remaining customers with 4G capable devices will get incredible speeds.

        It's funny, cause Vodafone is not bleeding customers like you say. In fact it had its first big gains recently. Just saying.

          That's like saying Bitcoin went really well after their huge crash

          They have lost 400,000 customers and counting. Would you call that a scrape or haemorrhaging?

            yeah, c'mon peeps. keep away from vodafone - leave me with some decent bandwidth

    Shouldn't the average download speed for the 20Mhz be 84.6Mbps????

    Just did Speedtest on my phone (Note 2) with Virgin(Optus) 4G in South Melbourne in the office.
    25ms, 18.22Mbps up, 13.68Mbps down.

    Vodafone is quite impressive, if it can keep that way when people start using their 4G.

    I just looked at all those fine numbers, sitting here in central QLD and gave it a short hysterical laugh...

      Keep an eye out for the nbn van :)

        Yep, Juliar will be driving it after September, she'll need a new job. Expect your central QLD rollout in about 15 to 25 years.

    Blah Blah Blah, after all the shit they pile on their customers, how soon they forget and now wants to brag their last to be release in Australia LTE.

    After treating so many customers with contempt just not so long ago that resulted in class lawsuits etc, now they forgotten everything. It's time to brag and boast about their not even yet release LTE.

    We customers are so easily taken for a ride.

    No one sign up for Vodaphone please.... I need some quick 4g....

    Having just got an Optus 4g sim in Perth the best i can get is around 14Mbps download and 7Mbps up. Unfortunately its rather patchy coverage where I live. But Telstra isnt an option at this stage.

    Bring on Vodaphone I say

      It literally says the name of the business 12 times in this article. How hard is it to spell 'Vodafone' correctly?

    The reason why Optus 4G is slower than Vodafone 4G is because in most cities around Australia, they haven't done it right.

    Whereas a typical mobile phone base station will have at least 4 "cells" (those antenna you see sticking out of them), when Optus activate a base for 4G they only activate 1 cell (out of all the ones on the site).

    Melbourne appears to be the only city in Australia where Optus 4G is sufficiently fast, and much faster than Telstra in several places.

    In Adelaide Optus have only activated 4 (four) base stations for 4G and as above, not all of their cells are used for it either. They only did this to stop Telstra advertising it was the only 4G in Adelaide. I might have to reconsider a mobile data service with Vodafone when they launch here.

    Vodafone seems to be taking a more sensible approach to the whole thing - build it all out over a 12 month plus period and then switch it on in one big "bang".

    Vodafone's biggest obstacle to 4G being successful is the quality of it's backhaul network.

      I don't know where you got your "4 cells"thing from... sites typically have 3 sectors, only really congested sites get a fourth, and LTE is running at 2x2 MIMO, that's per sector( cell) which there is 3 pet site...

      don't know what vodas bandwidth is like, but they will most likely have it on shared sites where they can lease it...

    Can't wait...have been using Optus 4G thru work and it is patchy.....at home near Kirribilli I get 16-20mb on the personal Vodafone 3G with iphone5, but lucky to get 12-15mb on the work Optus iphone5......

    Vodafone has a 4G network? Amazing, seems like only yesterday they said they weren't interested in 4G, they were all about fixing their existing 3G network . Wonder what happened to that?

    Would love Vodafone 3G to work properly first. In Adelaide today and had and E sign in the middle of the Mall. Only a couple more months til I ditch these clowns.

    Being rolled out to staff and then to long term prepaid customers and on from there. Personally rolling it out for free is a great marketing idea - Just hope it stands up to the hype...

    It'll be interesting to see how it goes once congestion is added to the network.
    I hope that this might shake up the 4G market since the telcos are all monetising data.

    So Canberra isn't getting 4G any time soon. I'm going to go ahead and die of unsurprise.

    Of course the speeds would have been quick when there is only 1 person connected to the network - Please test the speeds again at Bondi on a hot Saturday afternoon once 4G is live and let me know what the speeds are? Vodafail can't handle capacity, that's always been their issue, their backhaul network is abysmal.

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