A shoot out in Sydney between a Chinese 5G smartphone from Oppo and a Korean 5G smartphone from Samsung has revealed that the so called “fast devices” are failing to hit the speeds that Telstra executives are bragging about and it’s not the 5G phone makers fault.
Last week at the Telstra Experience Centre a Telstra executive held up a 5G smartphone and bragged about the speeds a new 5G device was able to reach, he showed the device hitting speeds of between 1,250Mps and 1,623Mps however a shootout on the streets of Sydney, reveals that not only is the Telstra 5G service patchy the devices are hitting less than two thirds of the speeds that Telstra executives are claiming, and that trying to find a 5G hotspot is difficult at the best of time.
John Davidson at the Financial Review tested the new Samsung 5G Galaxy device Vs the Chinese 5G Oppo Reno smartphone, he said that ‘With the exception of a few very slow outliers, our download results were all in the 300 to 500 megabits per second range, downloading from Telstra servers. We’ve seen demos using the same phones and on the same Telstra networks where testers got speeds as high as 1900 megabits per second, but we got none of that”.
In the test where the Oppo attached to 4G and the Samsung attached to 5G, the two phones reported essentially the same download speeds anyhow: 363 Mbps and 370 Mbps, respectively.
Additionally, the tests all showed 5G network “ping” times (which is a measure of latency) that were the same as the ping times for 4G: more in the 18 to 30 milliseconds range, rather than the 1-ish millisecond that 5G should be capable of.
Telstra is claiming that their 5G network, is available in parts of 10 Australian cities, and that it deliver download speeds up to 20 times faster than 4G connections. In tests at Telstra’s launch of the Samsung device, downloads to the Samsung 5G smartphone exceeded one gigabit per second.
Samsung Electronics Australia mobile vice-president Garry McGregor said the demonstration was “an historic moment in smartphone technology”.
ChannelNews, believes that the speeds shown in the Telstra Experience Centre are not only misleading as Telstra could easily set up a 5G network in a controlled space, but they raise questions for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as to the legitimacy of Telstra 5G speed claims.
When ChannelNews tested the Samsung Galaxy S10+ on the Telstra 4G network we got speeds of 77.7Mps which was ample broadband to download Netflix, Stan and the NRL on Kayo without interruptions.
At 20X this speed, the new Telstra 5G service should have been delivering a minimum of 1,554Mps but both Telstra 5G devices only managed a maximum of 370Mps.
Davidson wrote ‘We conducted our tests in Sydney, where the only telco to have rolled out a 5G network is Telstra, and where Telstra’s 5G rollout is in its infancy and is patchy to say the least’.
It’s so patchy, in fact, that to have any chance of testing the 5G aspects of our two 5G phones, we had to download Telstra’s low-resolution network coverage map, carefully superimpose it on a high-resolution street map, and then ride around the city following the map, trying to get that minuscule network icon at the top of the phone’s screen to flip from “4G” to “5G”.
He added “Even when we headed smack bang into the middle of a putative 5G coverage area, the icons on both the Oppo and Samsung remained resolutely 4G. In one place we were able to get both the Oppo and the Samsung to hop onto a 5G network, and in one place the Samsung but not the Oppo attached to 5G’.
One has to remember that this is not the fault of Samsung or Oppo 5G devices but Telstra who appear to be seriously over hyping their 5G network whil they sack over 9,000 people and struggle to generate new revenue from their existing 4G network.