Our partner RNC Mobile is publishing its Free Mobile network performance observatory in 2022.
Since the summer of 2017, the RNC Mobile application, available on Android via the Play Store, has been used to feed a data bank of flow measurements. Enough to use this information base to assess the performance of the Free Mobile network in 3G, 4G, 5G and Orange roaming.
First lesson, the three 4G frequencies deployed by the operator for several years (700 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz) allow 98% of installations to deliver speeds at least in 4G++ (3CA). The deployment of the fourth band (2100 MHz) “being quite recent, the speeds corresponding to 4G+++ (4CA), only reached 42% at the end of 2022”.
In addition, the share of modernized equipment to provide 5G has increased from 34% to 77% of active sites (excluding white zones) in the space of 2 years. The number of sites using the 3.5 GHz frequency has been multiplied by 10 (2 to 20%).
Another notable development, 57% of 5G 700MHz sites can now accommodate the 3.5GHz band “because they have already migrated to the Nokia Airscale range necessary for the reception of 5G. The share of installations equipped with 5G boosted by the addition of a 70 MHz band has quadrupled in two years (from 6.5% to 26.2%)”, says RNC Mobile.
For Free Mobile 4G subscribers, it should be noted that 98% of antennas outside the white zone can theoretically deliver 441 Mbps with a 4G mobile (without 2100 MHz). The speed can climb to 587 Mbps with a mobile on 42% of sites (2100 MHz band reduced to 15 MHz). “In the white zone, the equipment only has two non-aggregable frequencies of 20 MHz. The theoretical throughput therefore remains limited to 196 Mbps for a user”we learn.
With regard to 5G subscribers equipped with a compatible terminal, the theoretical maximum speed is 1189 Mbps (in MIMO2x2), or even 1793 Mbps (in MIMO4x4) on more than 22% of installations (with n78 band).
Evolution of 4G throughput measurements
The speed measurements carried out in 4G (outside the white zone) now represent only 47,313 annual values, indicates RNC Mobile, i.e. 40.6% of the tests in 2022 against 56.8% in 2021. The average download speeds remain stable until the median which changes a little (+7%). Observation, the 100 Mbps added thanks to the contribution of the 2100 MHz frequency to the 4G aggregation over a width of 10 MHz is felt significantly on the downstream speeds. Conversely, average upload speeds seem to have deteriorated slightly in 2022.
The median has increased sharply since the effective launch of 5G in the first quarter of 2021. We go from a value of 174 Mbps to 343 Mbps, an increase of +97%. If we look at the flow measurements which are framed by the first and the last quartile, we see that they have increased by 67% for the upper quarter of the sample and by 128% for the lower quarter. By construction, therefore, 50% of the measurements are now contained in the 185-535 Mbps range compared to 81-320 Mbps in 2021.
And 5G speeds?
According to RNC Mobile, “the median has increased sharply since the effective launch of 5G in the first quarter of 2021. We go from a value of 174 Mbps to 343 Mbps, an increase of +97%”. Today, 50% of measurements are contained in the 185-535 Mbps range compared to 81-320 Mbps in 2021.
Of the 19,399 measurements exceeding 500 Mbps in 2022, 19,209 were carried out in 5G compared to 190 in 4G. 746 municipalities benefited from at least one measurement of download speeds above 500 Mbps, ie three times more than the previous year. You can find the complete observatory at this address.
Thanks to a collaboration between RNC Mobile and Univers Freebox, we offer you as a reminder:
The Free Mobile coverage map on this page
All speed records on the Free Mobile network on this one
We want to give thanks to the writer of this write-up for this remarkable web content
Free Mobile: the number of municipalities with speeds greater than 500 Mbits/s is jumping
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