The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has released a study on the mobile data performance of local operators. The study, carried out for COFEK by independent audit company Phimetrics, rated Orange as having the best voice quality and 2G and 3G data speeds; while Safaricom has the widest coverage.
The study collected data in in-car drive tests and walk tests both indoors and outdoors over more than 400kms in Nairobi, with 8 – 9 hours of data collected each day for a week, in June 2012.
On voice quality, Phimetrics rated Orange first, followed by Safaricom, then Airtel, then Yu.
Safaricom scored 99.99% good outdoor coverage and 93.61% good indoor coverage, followed by Yu with 99.93% outdoors and 81.86% indoors; Airtel with 95.87% outdoors and 69.28% indoors and Orange with 92.66% outdoors and 50.46% indoors. All of the operators have acceptable voice quality (MOS) scores, but they were lower than international benchmarks, said the report.
On 2G performance, Orange topped the ranking, followed by Safaricom then Yu. It said Airtel 2G data had too many errors to give reliable results. On 3G, Orange led, followed by Safaricom and Airtel. The report said Yu did not offer 3G.
The report noted that 3G data speeds for all operators were lower than most 3G networks globally. The top operator in Nairobi delivered 2G data speeds of 87.5Kbps, compared with the top operator in Mumbai, India (96.2 Kbps) and top operator in London, UK (98.4 Kbps).
In Nairobi, the top operator delivered 3G data speeds of 899 Kbps, compared with the top operator in Mumbai (4098 Kbps) and London (3855 Kbps).