Which mobile phones perform worst on a stressed network?

Ian Scales
By Ian Scales

Jan 21, 2014

As mobile data demand has grown, claims researchers Actix, it has stressed significant parts of the mobile network which then have to start operating outside their envelopes. That in turn exposes the frailties (or not) of the popular handsets, some of which tend to drop significantly more data sessions and voice calls as a result of the network stress than average. Hey presto! A ranking.

First the network. Actix claims the incidence of dropped calls and sessions can be shown to have increased by 121 per cent overall as data demand has grown.

On average, says Actix, around 1 per cent of voice and data calls fail on mobile networks, however some locations deliver call failure rates of over 17 per cent during periods of high network load.

And some phones and brands handle it better than others, with the worst devices dropping, on average, more than 2.5 percent of all calls and data sessions.

iPhones generally performed better than average on data and Blackberry devices were least likely to drop a voice call.

iPhone 3GS recorded the lowest percentage of dropped data sessions, followed by the iPhone 5 and 4s. The best voice performer was the Blackberry 9320, with the Galaxy range of devices (S2, S3, S3 mini and S4) dropping significantly more calls than competitors – in some cases up to 2.5 percent of all calls and data sessions.

If by this time youre feeing somewhat bruised because your smartphone has been fingered as a miscreant, the researchers have some good news. They point out that some networks can be optimised for a particularly popular brand (looking at you iPhone) when this happens the other phones can actually experience a step down in performance.

Actix specialises in experience analytics and had developed systems which can rapidly identify poor device/network combinations and troubleshoots issues through network optimization or infrastructure rollout.

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