Study proves that mobile internet performance is worse in rural areas

Tests carried out in Alentejo and Algarve prove that mobile Internet performance in cities is better

Mobile Internet performance is worse in the predominantly rural areas of mainland Portugal, according to the National Communications Authority (Anacom) mobile services performance evaluation studies in five regions.

With the use of teleworking and distance learning, following the state of emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the topic of Internet access has been on the agenda, with several complaints about the difficulties of some regions of the country in access 'online'.

Anacom carried out five studies to assess the performance of mobile voice and data (Internet) services and GSM (2G), UMTS (3G) and LTE (4G) coverage provided by Meo (Altice Portugal), NOS and Vodafone Portugal in Alentejo , Algarve, Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML), Center and North.

Overall, the predominantly rural areas are those that have the worst performance in terms of mobile Internet access, compared to urban areas.

In Alentejo, voice and file transfer services “register good overall performances, with differences between operators and between types of urban areas in terms of data transfer speed, both in download and upload being more visible. '”, Reads in the study.

In the data transfer speed indicator, “the best performances are observed in predominantly urban areas”, concludes the study carried out between 7 and 28 May 2019, having covered 3.539 kilometers, of which 342 were in tests.

In the predominantly urban areas of Alentejo “the best performances are observed, with average success ratios in the establishment and maintenance of data sessions of 97,7%, in downloading the reference web page, and 93,8% in the transfer of the public 'web' page, with statistically significant differences compared to other urban typologies”.

That is, the performance is better than in rural or medium urban areas.

Also in the Algarve, whose fieldwork took place between 20 and 29 October, where 273 kilometers were covered in tests, surfing the Internet in rural areas can be difficult, and in certain medium urban areas difficulties are also detected.

Internet video and YouTube navigation services 'video streaming' and also the data transmission latency in the Algarve "show lower performance, compared to file transfer, observing also some differences between operators and typologies of urban areas", says the study, adding that, “in general, there are worse performances in medially urban and predominantly rural areas”.

It also points out that in the predominantly rural and medium urban areas of the Algarve “there are the worst performances” of the web page transfer duration indicator, “with no statistically significant differences between them, but with statistically significant differences” compared to predominantly urban .

Also at the Centre, mobile Internet navigation services register “worse performance in predominantly rural areas”.

With regard to file transfer, "there is good overall performance, with some differences in performance between operators and, more markedly, between types of urban areas".

The ability to establish and retain file transfer sessions and data transfer speed ('download' and 'upload') "present a marked degradation in predominantly rural areas", the study points out.

In Internet browsing services and YouTube, 'video streaming', “and also the latency of data transmission, they present lower performances, compared to file transfers, with some differences also being observed between the operators and, more accentuatedly, between the typologies of urban areas”.

Once again, “in general, there are worse performances in predominantly rural areas”, concludes the study, which took place between the 4th and 18th of December last, having covered 344 kilometers in tests.

In the North, with regard to file transfer, “in predominantly rural areas there is a marked degradation” in the indicator of termination of data sessions. Here, too, at the speed of data transfer, the best performances are in predominantly urban areas.

In terms of establishing and retaining data sessions, in more rural areas the levels of the indicator “do not exceed 80,3%”, against ratios above 99,4% in predominantly urban areas, the study reads, which took place between 3 and February 13, 2020, having covered 3.255 kilometers, of which 303 were being tested.