Nordics - Network experience across the 13 largest cities


March 2019

In Tutela’s State of Mobile Networks Report for the Nordics, published in January this year, Norway edged ahead in terms of the excellent consistent quality score of its operators, and that story proved consistent when only looking at the largest urban areas. All four Norwegian cities placed highest in Tutela’s testing, although every one of the 13 cities tested averaged an excellent consistent quality score easily in excess of 80%, highlighting the overall strength of mobile networks in the region.



Key Findings

  • Norway’s cities provided notably exceptional excellent consistent quality scores against Tutela’s benchmarks, with all four Norwegian cities tested placing top in the rankings. Oslo finished top of the table over all, with an excellent consistent quality score of 91.7%. However, Odense in Denmark provided its citizens with the highest average download speed at 24.5 Mbps, despite finishing fifth overall for excellent consistent quality.

  • ICE and TDC both proved leaders in the Nordics region, achieving the highest excellent consistent quality score in three cities each. ICE’s achievement was particularly impressive, as the network with the highest excellent consistent quality score in all three of the top cities in the overall ranking.

  • Notably, all the Nordic cities Tutela tested had excellent consistent quality scores in excess of 80%, meaning that at least four out of five connections met Tutela’s test thresholds that simulate reliable HD video streaming or group video calling.

View online report

Jump to individual city results

Norway Denmark Sweden Finland

Oslo
Bergen
Trondheim
Stavanger

Copenhagen
Aarhus
Odense

Stockholm
Gothenburg
Malmo
Helsinki
Turku
Tampere


 

Measuring network performance in cities

When looking at network performance in dense urban areas, network capacity is just as important as network coverage. With many 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 may 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