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3G network with “holes” in the main road connections

As already concluded in other years, the quality of the mobile network in Portugal presents good levels of service in urban areas and in the monitoring of road axes, especially in GSM. Anacom’s study shows, however, that there are still gaps in 3G that affect video calling services in some areas, as a result of poor or no network coverage.

The analysis was carried out between 14 September and 20 October 2009 but has only just been released, showing that there is no great variation in relation to the data collected in 2008. The assessment is made based on six indicators, which reflect the quality perceived by consumers when using networks, namely network coverage, service accessibility; call establishment time; call termination rate; call audio quality; and video telephony call quality.

The report details the levels of quality of service for each of the indicators in detail, focusing on the areas of large urban agglomerations, but also on the main roads where consumers travel, areas where network coverage failures had already been pointed out. .

Motorways continue to be the main weaknesses in coverage and quality of service. Although in urban areas the coverage of 3G networks is less than that of GSM, these failures are more evident on the road axes, mainly in the Vodafone network, where it drops below 70%, and Optimus.

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Vodafone is also the operator with the most flaws in the quality of service, but only in UMTS, which can only be seen in video calls and not in voice calls, effectively covered by the GSM network.

According to Anacom, Optimus and TMN present the best performances in the area of ​​video calls, with service accessibility levels of 95.1 and 93.7%, but Vodafone has “significantly lower performances”, with 81.4% for the accessibility of the service and 93% for the call termination rate, when the two competitors set themselves above 96%.

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The communications regulator also mentions that in relation to 2008 there is a positive evolution of the indicators, especially in the accessibility of the Optimus service, which shows an improvement of 8%.