Mobile broadband downloads and uploads are now faster on Vodafone’s 3G network than on Telecom or 2degrees. That’s the verdict of 3G testing by Truenet which compared speeds at a series of locations in central Auckland and Wellington.

The tests show that Vodafone’s 3G network was lagging its competitors at the end of 2012. By the last quarter of 2013, it was significantly ahead with average mobile download speeds running at almost 4Mbps in Wellington and 4.5Mbps in Auckland.

While Vodafone’s speeds improved, average download speeds on Telecom’s 3G network were slower in both Auckland and Wellington. 2degrees managed a small improvement.

In Wellington, TrueNet said Telecom’s download speeds worsened slightly from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013.

There’s a vast difference between advertised download speeds on 3G network and what happens in everyday use. One reason for this is the available bandwidth is shared by all the users on a site.

Given that Vodafone introducd its 4G network between the two tests, it’s possible the speed improvement is down to less crowding with speed-hungry Vodafone customers moving to the new network.

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