DACH - Network experience across the largest 15 cities


Tutela’s State of Mobile Networks report for DACH showed consumers’ experience with wireless networks varies significantly across the region, with download speeds in Switzerland significantly higher than in neighbouring countries being just one example. To see how operator networks perform in the largest urban areas, Tutela analyzed network measurements crowdsourced between 01 December 2018 to 31 May 2019, including 3.4 million speed tests, and a total of over 21 billion measurements across the 15 largest cities.

Key findings:

  • All ten cities tested across Austria and Switzerland outperformed the five cities tested in Germany from both an excellent consistent quality and average download speed perspective. This is likely due at least partially to the higher rates of 4G usage for data traffic in Swiss and Austrian cities compared to Germany. 

  • By operator, 3 (Austria), Sunrise (Switzerland) and O2 (Germany) all excelled in their respective countries, with 3 winning outright or tying for first place for excellent consistent quality in all five Austrian cities. Sunrise and O2 both either won or tied for first place in four of the five biggest cities tested in their countries.

  • Swiss users rely far more heavily on mobile data than Wi-Fi compared to their neighbours. In Bern, nearly 40% of data traffic recorded by Tutela went over a 4G connection, compared to a maximum of 11% in any German city. 

Report Facts

  • Measurement period: 01 December 2018 to 31 May 2019
  • Throughput tests: > 3.4 million
  • Response test: > 151 million
  • Total measurements: > 21 billion

View online report

Jump to country or individual city results

Germany Austria  Switzerland

1. Munich
2. Cologne
3. Berlin
4. Hamburg
5. Frankfurt

1. Graz
2. Linz
3. Innsbruck
4. Salzburg
5. Vienna

1. Bern
2. Zurich
3. Lausanne
4. Basel
5. Geneva


Measuring network performance in cities

When looking at network performance in dense urban areas, network capacity is just as important as network coverage. With millions of users crammed into a few square miles, the network can become overloaded at peak times, even when you’ve got a perfect signal.

As a result, relying on an average download speed to evaluate network quality isn’t a good method. As operators have worked to upgrade 3G networks to LTE-Advanced technology, theoretical (and even real-world) peak throughput speeds have increased to a level that vastly outstrips the maximum needed for any common use-case. As a result, a handful of multi-hundred-megabit download tests taken at 2AM can greatly skew the results, and the fact that cellphones become unusable on a train during rush hour doesn’t show up in the results.At its most basic, a good connection is one that doesn’t get in the way of users doing what they want to do. In the real world, smartphone users aren’t running speed tests all day -- they’re browsing the web, sending emails, using apps, voice calling their friends, streaming Netflix and YouTube, or making video calls.

To more objectively evaluate when networks are (and are not) enabling users to do those things, Tutela has developed a standard called consistent quality. The design of the standard is explained in further detail here. Simply put, it’s two sets of thresholds, called “excellent” and “basic”. If a connection hits the “excellent” standard, it’s sufficient for the most demanding mobile use-cases, like HD video calling or 1080p video streaming.  A “basic” connection is good enough for simple web browsing, emails, and VOIP calling, but users will experience delays or buffering when trying to use more demanding apps.

Tutela’s consistent quality score simply measures the percentage of time that users hit these thresholds. The higher the number, the more often users have a basic or excellent connection.

Excellent Quality

KPI Average download speed Average upload speed Latency Jitter Packet loss
Minimum acceptable value 4 Mbps 2 Mbps 50 ms 30 ms ~0%


Basic Quality

KPI Average download speed Average upload speed Latency Jitter Packet loss
Minimum acceptable value 512 Kbps 128 Kbps 100 ms 50 ms 5%


View online report 


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