Drive-testing and network coverage mapping completed by Huawei have shown 4G to be 10 x times faster than 3G and that Manx Telecom has 99% 4G coverage in the Isle of Man…
The network coverage map to the right shows Manx Telecom’s 99% 4G coverage with most customers able to access the faster L1800¹ (green) technology or L800¹ (pink) which is used to provide 4G in rural locations around the island. The mapping criteria is based on our licence commitment to provide 5Mbps (Megabits per second) download at cell edge under normal load.
In coverage terms, our licence commitment was to provide 33% 4G coverage at launch and 95% within two years of launch. Manx Telecom launched in July 2014 with circa 90% 4G coverage and this map shows that Huawei and Manx Telecom optimised the new network to deliver 99% 4G coverage by October 2014.
A 20% improvement in 3G mobile broadband coverage was also achieved by introducing U900 to complement the existing U2100 deployment, after re-farming some 900Mhz spectrum previously used for 2G services.
2G mobile broadband was also improved by introducing 2G EDGE technology for the first time as Manx Telecom had previously went straight from 2G GPRS to 3G HSPA when pioneering 3G mobile broadband technologies in the past.
Drive-testing completed on the Island’s main routes confirmed Manx Telecom’s 4G download speeds are on average, 10 x times faster than 3G prior to migrating to the Huawei Single RAN network with average 4G download speeds now achieving 25.8 Mbps compared to average 3G download speeds of 2.5 Mbps on the old network. The average speed experience when connected to the faster and widely available L1800 actually reached 33.1 Mbps down.
In addition, there was a clear improvement in average 3G download speeds which doubled to 5.4 Mbps following the introduction of U900 technology. The improvement in upload speeds for both 3G and 4G technologies has been very significant but as customers download far more than they upload, the download speed is still most important to our customers mobile broadband experience.
The Huawei drive-tests which covered the main routes on the Isle of Man and extensive testing in the capital, Douglas validated the 99% 4G coverage as per the final network coverage map above along with network statistics including exceptional cell availability, call success, content switch fall-back success, data session setup success, intra-frequency and inter-frequency handover success rates for the relevant 2G, 3G and 4G technologies.
¹ Manx Telecom’s 4G spectrum allocation for 4G is 20MHz in the 1800MHz frequency range and 10MHz in the 800MHz frequency range.