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Vodafone, MyRepublic the fastest in download speed tests - Ookla

Peter Griffin, Editor. 20 January 2022, 9:47 am

Vodafone serves up the fastest mobile download speeds and niche player MyRepublic beats the pack for fast downloads on fixed-line broadband connections according to Ookla, creator of the popular speedtest.net network test.

During the fourth quarter of 2021, Vodafone earned a "Speed Score" of 83.72, significantly higher than Spark (60.54) and 2degrees (43.06). Vodafone also came out top for median 5G mobile data speeds 344.06Mbps (megabits per second) and had median latency (connection delay) of 30 milliseconds, equal to 2degrees and bettering Spark (35ms).

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Ookla's Speed Score incorporates a measure of each provider's download and upload speed to rank network performance - 80% of the final Speed Score is attributed to download speed and the remaining 20% to upload speed.

In the world of fixed-line broadband, MyRepublic had the top score with 233.83 for the fourth quarter. That put it significantly ahead of Spark and Vodafone, the country's two largest broadband providers, but reflects the focus of the smaller ISP on optimising its network for superusers such as gamers who highly value fast connections.

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The testing also showed considerable variation in mobile and fixed-line broadband speeds between our main cities. Wellington delivered the top median download speed of 133.59 Mbps, compared to Tauranga, the slowest of our large cities at 95.43 Mbps. Hamilton was well ahead of the other cities when it came to mobile downloads (80.98 Mbps).

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It isn't all about the network connection itself, even the technical specifications of the device you are using can influence the data speeds you are likely to receive. The Apple iPhone 13 delivered the fastest median download speed among popular devices tested in New Zealand (193.18 Mbps) and Apple devices overall had the fastest median download speed at 51.64 Mbps. Android phone maker Samsung in comparison achieved a medium download speed of 43.95 across its devices.

The results show New Zealand slightly improving its performance compared to other countries, moving up one place in Ookla's Speedtest Global Index for mobile speeds and jumping 11 places in fixed-line broadband.

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The free Speedtest web service measures data throughput and latency by sending data between a user's device and one of 11,000 servers spread around the world. 

The Commerce Commission also regularly benchmarks the performance of New Zealand's broadband providers using a wider range of measures. It's spring report was published in December and found:

  • All main download/upload/latency results are stable against the previous reporting period, with the exception of Hybrid Fibre-Coaxial (HFC) Max. Apart from this and despite COVID-19 lockdowns, there was no noticeable decrease in performance compared to 2020 for the majority of plans.
  • The rate of disconnections (when a broadband connection loses all connectivity temporarily) increased from the previous report for all technologies testing to the United States. However, they are still at a level unlikely to impact user experience.
  • New testing of latency under load shows that ADSL and Fixed Wireless plans both see a large increase in latency when the line is in use, especially under upstream load. Fibre plans are less impacted, with Fibre Max showing only a very small increase in latency compared to idle latency values.

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