RESULTS IN A NUTSHELL
P3‘s network benchmarks are widely accepted for setting industry standards as well as being highly objective. The carefully designed methodology scheduled two drivetest cars to visit 21 large cities and 33 smaller towns in Sweden as well as the connecting roads. The areas in which we tested accounted for more than 4 million people, or about 42 per cent of the Swedish population.
Another example for P3‘s great attention to detail is the use of up-to-date LTE “Cat 9” as well as VoLTE-capable smartphones for the tests. They reflect the latest technical developments in the mobile networks and once more emphasise the scope of our benchmarking: How do the mobile networks perform at the edge of what is technically feasible – and to what extent do customers benefit from these capabilities? In order to provide valid answers to these questions, we have also used the most comprehensive mobile plans available from each operator. Also, we constantly readjust the thresholds of our evaluation to represent the latest technological advancements.
With 121 mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, Sweden has a flourishing mobile communications market. And the excellent results from of our first mobile network benchmark in Sweden, conducted in 2016, have set high expectations. Still, three out of the four Swedish contenders were able to improve on their 2016 results.
Telia overall winner, Tele2 equally strong in voice
For the second time, the overall winner is Telia, which manages to score best in the data disciplines and shares the best voice results with Tele2 also impressing. Having ranked third in the previous year, Tele2 shows the biggest improvement both in points and performance.
Telenor slips down to the third rank because it delivers about the same performance as in the previous year. So, due to tighter thresholds, they lose points, but still achieve the grade “very good”.
The smallest Swedish operator Tre still comes in last, but again achieves the grade „good” and has clearly improved on 2016‘s results.
The overall result is quite clear: Telia successfully defends the first rank in Sweden and was even able to improve both in the voice and the data categories over the results of our previous benchmark. In the voice category, Telia shares the top position with Tele2, which is an indicator of the huge efforts that this operator took in order to improve on its position in the overall ranking. These steps include the successful deployment of both VoLTE and carrier aggregation. The still considerable point gap between the two highest ranks, however, can be explained with Tele2 ranking only third in the data category.
Telenor is the only contender in this benchmark not being able to improve on its results of the previous test. A closer examination shows that its performance is almost identical to the results of our 2016 benchmark in Sweden. But as we have raised some thresholds in our scoring scheme and the competitors can already benefit from improved technologies like VoLTE, just staying at the same level actually means a loss of points. In the voice category, the smallest Swedish operator Tre is even threatening to surpass Telenor, who is only one point ahead in this category.
Swedish networks among the best in Europe
While still holding the fourth rank, Tre could improve its performance over its 2016 results. This is especially true in the data category. Also, one should bear in mind that with 813 points and the overall grade “good”, even this smallest Swedish operator would achieve a top position in other markets with a weaker mobile environment.