Fixed and mobile networks: containment had little impact on quality of service, according to nPerf

The nPerf barometer is an excellent indicator of the quality of fixed and mobile networks. During the confinement period, the 1st quarter edition shows that operators and access providers have been able to respond to this.

nPerf, which relies on hundreds of thousands of tests carried out by users of its fixed and mobile speed measurement tools, published its barometer of network performance in the first quarter of 2020 in France, inevitably including an impact analysis containment.

On the mobile side, nPerf says it observes (out of 296,000 speed tests, 105,000 browsing and 72,000 streaming) a slight drop in performance from the beginning of March and the implementation of social distancing and then confinement measures . A drop measured in the four operators, but which never exceeds 10% and relates mainly to downlink speeds.

The latency times have been little changed. As for the quality of service, essentially measured via web browsing tests and video streaming, it is slightly down with pages which – overall – took a little longer to load in March than in January or February, and streaming indices which, after advancing in February, have stalled.

Fixed-line broadband rose in March

On the fixed side, on more than 2.4 million tests (the automatic tests carried out by operators have been subtracted), we note an increase in speeds in March 2020 compared to the previous months at Orange, SFR but especially Bouygues Telecom, at ‘inverse of Free whose average debits returned to a level slightly lower than that of January.

At Orange and SFR, latency times were also improved in March, while they rose a little at Bouygues Telecom and Free. “Even if they are also impacted by the heavy charges linked to the overconsumption of content (Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, VoD, Video games) and telework, the fixed networks continue to deliver very good performances, or even improve them for some in this confinement period ” , notes nPerf.

Very honorable performances

What conclusion does the independent Lyon testing organization draw from all this? That despite the fear of damage to the networks during the confinement period, changes in consumption and use have had very little impact, if at all in some cases. “All operators, whether fixed or mobile, have responded by delivering more than honorable performance despite an unprecedented situation, for the convenience of subscribers,” he summarizes.

Breakdowns and other malfunctions, when they could have occurred, were therefore mainly due to overloads on the servers of the most requested services, such as those of National Education during the generalization of school at home .

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