Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) beat its rival 3G network operators in a survey of mobile Internet service quality, according to the Consumers’ Foundation.
The survey was conducted by National Taiwan University’s electrical engineering department from Aug. 15 last year to May 28 this year, with researchers analyzing and examining a database containing 103,954 results.
The foundation said on Thursday that CHT remained the nation’s largest 3G network operator, with a market share of 35 percent. Taiwan Mobile ranked second with 29 percent, closely followed by Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) with 28 percent. Vibo Telecom came in last at 8 percent.
The survey measured throughput speed — or how fast information is successfully downloaded onto mobile devices. It was one of the most important indicators used to evaluate the network providers’ mobile service quality, the foundation said.
Results showed that the average download speed for mobile Internet services using 3G networks in Taiwan was 1.26 megabits per second (Mbps) and the average upload speed was 0.17Mbps.
Among the four telecoms operators, the 3G mobile communication services provided by CHT and Taiwan Mobile were faster than the national average in terms of download speed, reaching 1.64Mbps and 1.5Mbps respectively. Vibo and FET, on the other hand, offered service speeds of 0.93Mbps and 0.9Mbps respectively.
In terms of upload speed, only CHT’s service was higher than the national average.
The survey also found that consumers generally enjoyed faster mobile Internet transmission at around 5am, with the download speed reaching up to 1.76Mbps.
The transmission speed slows down around 8am or 9am, when most people start work. The peak hours for mobile communications services last from 9am to midnight, and the traffic does not ease up until around 1am when most people have gone to bed.
‧ National average: 1.26Mbps
‧ Chunghwa Telecom: 1.64Mbps
‧ Taiwan Mobile: 1.5Mbps
‧ Vibo Telecom: 0.93Mbps
‧ Far EasTone: 0.9Mbps
While various reasons affect the transmission speed, the foundation said that the infrastructure offered by the network operators is a key factor. The survey found that CHT owned the most number of base stations.
The study, which covered 93 percent of the nation’s 3G service coverage area, showed that 36 percent of the base stations were owned by CHT.
The survey also showed that there is still a gap between the service quality in Taipei City and other regions. While people in Taipei City enjoy an average transmission speed of 1.6Mbps, residents in rural areas in Taitung have to put up with a slow 0.8Mbps.
In response, the National Communications Commission said it would ask telecoms operators to increase their infrastructure installation and try to shrink the gap between rural and urban areas.
Some of the 3G network operators said the survey did not cover areas where other wireless services are available, such as WiMAX and Wi-Fi services.
They said the public could refer to the official results that the Telecom Technology Center is scheduled to release in August and December.