Norway proved the leading overall region for consistent quality in major urban areas. All four Norwegian cities placed top in our testing, with three of those cities achieving excellent consistent quality scores in excess of 90%.
ICE lead in the region, providing the highest excellent consistent quality score in Oslo, Stavanger and Trondheim. Telenor, meanwhile, came top for Bergen, Norway’s second largest city by population.
These high results may be aided by the fact the entire country has notably low 4G and 3G utilization. Based on Rewheel’s mobile data usage per capita per month in 2017, Norway had the lowest data usage of the four countries covered in this report. Meanwhile, Telenor Norway has the highest number of LTE cell towers normalized for population across the EU28 + Norway and Switzerland, and Telia Norway has the third highest number of LTE towers.
Oslo, Norway’s capital city and by far the largest city in the country, had the best excellent consistent quality score of any Nordic city in Tutela’s testing.
In terms of pure download speeds, Oslo placed third overall, behind Odense and Trondheim, with an average download speed of 22.9 Mbps. In the city, Telia provided its customers with an impressive average download speed of 28.5 Mbps, a full 10 Mbps faster than second-place ICE.
However, Telia’s lead in download speed did not translate to a lead in excellent consistent quality - though it did offer its customers an impressive 91.0% excellent consistent quality. Instead, ICE took the lead, with 94.9% consistent quality -- meaning that 19 times out of 20 ICE customers experienced a network that met Tutela’s excellent consistent quality threshold suitable for demanding use cases such as streaming HD video from providers like Youtube or Netflix.
Bergen placed fourth among both Norwegian cities and the Nordics cities overall in terms of excellent consistent quality, with a score of 89.6%, and an average download speed of 20.7 Mbps.
Telia is nearly 10 Mbps faster than its nearest rival in terms of average download speed, achieving an average of 27.0 Mbps, however there was a much smaller difference between ICE and Telenor at 17.3 Mbps compared to 15.9 Mbps.
Bergen is also the only Norwegian city of the four tested where ICE did not come top for excellent consistent quality. Here, Telenor led, with an excellent consistent quality score of 91.2%.
Stavanger placed second overall for excellent consistent quality across the Nordics cities tested, and second in Norway, with a score of 91.3% -- just 0.4 percentage points behind overall leader, Oslo. This was despite having the second slowest average download speed in Norway of 20.8 Mbps
Telia had an average download speed of 28.3 Mbps, over 13 Mbps faster than second-place ICE. However, ICE and Telenor had a difference in average speeds of just 0.4 Mbps.
ICE achieved an excellent consistent quality score of 94.9%, placing it first overall in terms of meeting Tutela’s threshold for supporting higher-intensity use cases. However, all three operators achieved impressive results in excess of 90% excellent consistent quality, indicating that nine times out of ten, any network user in the city received a connection that should support applications like real-time video chatting without any issues.
Trondheim achieved the fastest average download speed in Norway at 23.7 Mbps, and placed third overall for consistent quality with a score of 90.4%.
When it came to average download speed, Telia achieved 31.4 Mbps, almost twice that of second-place ICE, with a speed of 16.5 Mbps. As with other cities in Norway, ICE and Telenor had virtually identical network speeds, separated by just 0.1 Mbps.
However, ICE topped the excellent consistent quality table - with an outstanding 96.5% excellent consistent quality score.
While the Swedish cities tested ultimately ranked lowest for both average download speeds and consistent quality, Swedish networks still provided their customers in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo with excellent consistent quality in excess of 80% of the time.
Telia provided the highest excellent consistent quality score across the entirety of Sweden in Tutela’s Nordics report in January; in the cities tested, however, 3 provided the best consistent quality in both Gothenburg and Malmo.
Stockholm had the highest excellent consistent quality score of the three Swedish cities tested, and placed joint 10th overall (tied with Turku in Finland). The city had an average download speed of 18.9 Mbps.
Telia proved to be the best network in terms of its excellent consistent quality score in Tutela’s testing -- achieving 91.4% of connections meeting Tutela’s excellent consistent quality threshold. Telia’s network was, on average, 1.9 Mbps faster for download speeds than second place Telenor, and was 4.6 percentage points ahead of Telenor in terms of consistent quality.
Meanwhile, Tele2 achieved a highly respectable 81.8% excellent consistent quality score, despite having a network that was 12.2 Mbps slower in terms of download speed than leader, Telia.
Gothenburg placed second among the three Swedish cities tested, and 12th overall in the Nordics.
Despite placing third among the tested network operators for download speed, at 14.0 Mbps, 3 placed first in terms of its excellent consistent quality score at 88.8%. Meanwhile, Telia -- which provided the fastest network at 25.6 Mbps -- slipped into third place for consistent quality. However, the difference in excellent consistent quality score between Telia and 3 was a mere 1.1 percentage points, highlighting just how well 3, Telenor and Telia’s networks all performed in the city.
Tele2, however, fell slightly behind the other network operators in Gothenburg, with an excellent consistent quality score of 80.6%. While in isolation, this remains an impressive performance in a region with high relative mobile network data load, this score was 7.1 percentage points behind the other networks in the city.
Malmo placed last overall among the 13 Nordics cities tested by Tutela. However, this is in no way to say that networks in the city fell short of user needs. Overall, 83.1% of 4G and 3G connections met Tutela’s excellent consistent quality threshold, making them likely suitable for highly demanding use-cases such as HD video streaming.
In addition, Malmo had the highest percentage of Wi-Fi usage for mobile users compared to Stockholm and Gothenburg, indicating that the high prevalence of Wi-Fi may mean there is less need for such high-performance networks.
Overall, 3 provided the highest quality network in Malmo, with the highest percentage of tests meeting Tutela’s excellent consistent quality threshold (90.0%). Meanwhile, Telia provided the fastest network, with an average download speed of 29.9 Mbps.
Denmark is the only country in which both other cities tested outperformed the capital of that country -- with both Odense and Aarhus outperforming Copenhagen with higher levels of excellent consistent quality. However, users in all three of Denmark’s main cities could expect more than 87% of their connections to meet Tutela’s excellent consistent quality threshold, indicating a network capable of meeting high intensity use cases such as HD video streaming or group video calling.
Users in Denmark tended to favour 4G for data use more than their counterparts in Sweden and Norway (with the exception of mobile users in Stockholm), but less than in Finland.
When it came to operators, TDC again performed well. Echoing the findings of Tutela’s Nordics report in January, which found that TDC recorded the best excellent consistent quality in Denmark, TDC makes a clean sweep across all three Danish cities tested. However, when it came to average download speed, Telia and Telenor achieved higher speeds in Odense.
Overall, Copenhagen had the lowest average consistent quality score among the three Danish cities tested, though placed eighth overall among the 13 cities tested - just ahead of Finland’s capital, Helsinki.
While TDC inched ahead in terms of download speed, with an average speed of 25.3 Mbps, this was just 0.2 Mbps faster than joint second-fastest networks Telia and Telenor. However, the consistent quality scores are much clearer. TDC had the highest percentage of tests meet Tutela’s excellent consistent quality threshold, leading to an overall excellent consistent quality score of 91.7%.
3 meanwhile, which achieved the slowest average download speed in Tutela’s testing at 14.2 Mbps, surpassed Telia to place third in overall excellent consistent quality.
Aarhus placed second among the three Danish cities tested, and sixth overall among the 13 Nordic cities in terms of its excellent consistent quality score, with 88% of tests meeting Tutela’s excellent consistent quality threshold. Meanwhile, networks in the city offered an average download speed of 22.3 Mbps.
As in Copenhagen, 3 was the slowest network in Tutela’s testing, with an average download speed of 14.0 Mbps, 13.2 Mbps slower than the fastest network, TDC. However, 3 achieved second place in the city for excellent consistent quality, where 88.7% of network tests met Tutela’s threshold that represents demanding use cases such as HD video streaming or group video calling.
TDC again achieved an impressive excellent consistent quality score against Tutela’s benchmarks, with 92.8% consistent quality - 2.6 percentage points ahead of its national average of 90.2% in Tutela’s Nordics report in January.
Odense achieved the highest consistent quality score in the three Danish cities tested (fifth overall among the 13 Nordic cities tested), as well as achieving the highest average download speed among all 13 cities included in this report. Overall, TDC provided the highest levels of excellent consistent quality in Tutela’s testing, with a score of 91.8%.
In the city, Telia achieved an impressive average download speed of 30.0 Mbps, significantly higher than the slowest network in the city, 3, which had an average download speed of 12.9. However, unlike in Copenhagen and Aarhus, 3’s lower download speed also correlated with a last-place finish for excellent consistent quality. 3’s network met Tutela’s benchmark for excellent consistent quality -- suitable for HD video streaming or group video calling -- 10 percentage points less often than leader TDC.
Finland’s cities had mixed performance in Tutela’s testing. Overall, Finnish city-dwellers in Helsinki, Tampere, and Turku favoured 4G and 3G over Wi-Fi for over half of mobile data usage - far more than their counterparts in Denmark, Norway or Sweden. In some cases, Finnish 4G usage as a percentage of total data use by connection type is double that of cities in other Nordic countries.
Given the volume of traffic Finnish networks have to carry, and also the high proportion of 3G utilization, this may explain why in Tutela’s original Nordics report in January, Finland finished last overall in terms of excellent consistent quality.
That said, on a city-by-city basis, all three of Finland’s top cities outperform or match Sweden’s top three cities in terms of excellent consistent quality and average download speed. Tampere, in addition, places clearly in front of the capitals of not just Finland, but also Sweden and Denmark -- ranking seventh out of all 13 cities tested for excellent consistent quality against Tutela’s benchmarks.
The race for best excellent consistent quality was a closely fought one in Finland’s capital, which finished ninth overall among the thirteen Nordic cities tested, and second among the three Finnish cities. All three major operators had an excellent consistent quality score within a single percent of each other, not surprising given all three have their headquarters in the city, but DNA came out on top overall with 87.4% of connections meeting Tutela’s benchmark.
This was despite DNA having the lowest average download speed in Helsinki. Here, Elisa was the clear winner at 24.6 Mbps, beating out Telia on 23.1 Mbps, and achieving an average 6.8 Mbps faster than DNA.
Among the three Finnish cities, Helsinki had the highest percentage of data use over Wi-Fi -- this was also higher than the national average (37%) for Wi-Fi usage with 38.7% of data use going over Wi-Fi each day.
Tampere was Finland’s leading city in terms of consistent quality according to Tutela’s data, finishing above Helsinki and placing joint sixth overall among the 13 Nordic cities tested, with an excellent consistent quality score of 88.0%. However, in terms of download speed, Tampere dipped behind Helsinki with an average of 20.1 Mbps.
As in Helsinki, all operators achieved similar excellent consistent quality scores, although DNA came top overall with a score of 88.9%, followed by Elisa (88.1%) and then Telia (87.1%). In the city, Telia had the highest average download speed, at 23.1 Mbps, while DNA was last with 17.0 Mbps.
Users in Tampere relied on 4G/3G connections far more than the national average -- 72.7% of traffic went over such connections, compared to a national average of 63%.
Turku finished last among the three Finnish cities, and 10th overall among the 13 Nordic cities with an excellent consistent quality score of 85.6%, and an average download speed of 18.9 Mbps.
In the city, Telia achieved both the highest average download speed (21.4 Mbps) and excellent consistent quality score (89.9%). DNA had its slowest average download speed in any of the three cities tested at 16.6 Mbps, but still placed second in terms of meeting the excellent consistent quality threshold 85.1% of the time.
Tutela measures network quality based on the real-world performance of users in the field. Results in this report are based on a testing configuration to represent typical (not maximum) performance of users. We used a 2 MB file to perform our download testing and a 1 MB file to perform our upload testing. Tutela employs software installed on more than 3,000 partner apps to complete frequent, lightweight tests.
Our results differ from other network testing companies which measure the peak performance of networks under ideal conditions (such as downloading a 200 MB file).
In total, Tutela’s software operates on over 250 million Android and iPhone devices globally, collecting over 10 billion mobile data measurements every day. Our data scientists analyze results for each country every month, and our analytics platform, Tutela Explorer, lets operators chart, map, and filter over 80 key performance indicators into customized dashboards to help them better understand industry performance and benchmark against competitors.
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