TRA: Etisalat trumps UAE rival du in mobile data rates

Etisalat offered consistently higher mobile data transfer rates than its United Arab Emirates (UAE) rival du during 2014, regular benchmarking tests by regulator the General Authority for Regulating the Telecommunications Sector (TRA) show.

In its annual tests, the TRA found that in 2014 Etisalat achieved file transfer protocol (FTP) download rates of 5,724 kbps in dual mode 2G and 3G networks when users were outside, and 17,116 kbps on its LTE network. du hit 4,583 kbps in 2G/3G FTP download mode, and 10,786 kbps in LTE.

The pattern was repeated for outdoor HTTP browser-based downloads. Here, Etisalat achieved 5,630 kbps on its 2G/3G infrastructure and 11,968 kbps on LTE. du's 2G/3G HTTP download rate was 5,570 kbps, and its LTE network achieved 7,858 kbps.

However, du was the winner in terms of outdoor uplink data rates on 2G and 3G infrastructure. The operator achieved an FTP upload rate of 796 kbps and an HTTP rate of 857 kbps. Etisalat achieved 681 kbps in FTP uploads and 721 kbps for HTTP.

Outdoor LTE upload rates swung back in Etisalat's favour, with the operator achieving rates of 2,100 kbps in FTP uploads and 2,111 for HTTP. du's LTE network delivered FTP rates of 1,614 kbps, and 1,624 for HTTP.

Indoor data rates also erred towards Etisalat, which achieved download rates of 8,287 kbps in FTP mode on 2G/3G compared to du's 6,922 kbps. On LTE, FTP download rates were 24,740 kbps and 8,728 kbps respectively.

Indoor LTE-based HTTP download rates saw Etisalat hit 12,682 kbps and du 7,566 kbps.

On the uplink, Etisalat achieved an FTP rate of 763 kbps and HTTP rate of 762 kbps on its 2G/3G network, with du achieving 327 kbps and 445 kbps respectively.

Indoor LTE upload speeds saw Etisalat achieve 2,111 kbps on FTP and 2,128 kbps on HTTP, with du hitting 943 kbps for FTP and 900 kbps on HTTP.

The TRA research found that both operators were evenly matched in terms of call completion rates in both indoor and outdoor settings, with call drop rates also around the same level.

TRA director general, His Excellency Hamad Obaid Al Mansouri, said the regular benchmarking tests are important measures of the progress of the mobile industry in the UAE, and also provide certainty to potential investors in the sector.

For more:
- see the TRA's press release

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