Telco trade publication CommsDay and international testing company P3 have released a 2014 telco benchmark, drawing on "over 200,000 voice and data test samples taken across metropolitan areas, smaller towns and cities, and connecting roads and highways, accounting for a significant and representative share of the overall Australian population".
Test metrics included voice call quality, success rates, file upload and download speeds, website access, SD and HD mobile video performance and more.
The results show that Telstra had "the highest overall score and also took the top spot in each of the three main categories: smartphone voice performance, 3G data and 4G data", doing "consistently well throughout metro areas, smaller cities and towns, and the connecting routes."
Number 2 is Optus, whose "strong second" place showed "sustained performance across voice and data categories".
Reliability was uncovered as a "particular advantage for Optus, with some very high success ratios in both data and voice".
The Number 3 carrier is Vodafone, whose data speeds on 4G "came a close second to Telstra for 3G and 4G performance in smaller cities and on the highways."
CommsDay's group editorial director, Petroc Wilton said: "CommsDay congratulates Telstra on taking the top spot in this first year of the Benchmark.
"However, contention was very strong. The results clearly show that Vodafone and Optus have some important advantages of their own - as well as highlighting some areas for improvement for all three carriers.
"Considering the investment they're all making in their networks right now, and some of the initiatives they've already got underway to boost network coverage and performance, I'm looking forward to seeing how the scores improve next year!"
International testing outfit P3 has run similar mobile benchmarks in Austria, Germany and Switzerland for several years, so the company was able to "compare the results for Australia's mobile operators with some of their international counterparts. Vodafone, Optus and Telstra's scores put them firmly on par with the operators overseas."
P3's comms MD, Marcus Brunner said: "In their first year of testing, the Australian operators' scores are very close to those we awarded last year in Germany, in particular.
"We're expanding our operations this year to test in the UK as well - it's going to be very interesting to see how the comparison plays out across the different countries going forward."
A video introducing the testing can be watched below.