Which mobile network offers the best voice and data quality?

P3 found a difference of up to 60% in quality being experienced across the country's three largest operators...

Which mobile network offers the best voice and data quality?

In this file photo, a teenager checks his smartphone | Image: Nam Y. Huh / AP/Press Association Images

A new international mobile operator survey has revealed the massive gaps in voice and data quality that exists between Irish operators.

The latest benchmark testing survey from the German-based P3 Communications looked at smartphone voice and data performance in cities, towns and connecting roads across the country in late August, with P3 claiming that quality differences of as much as 60% are being experienced by Irish users.

As little as 25% of users in towns such as Kilkenny, Mullingar, Portlaoise and Westport are experiencing proper voice coverage, while up to two-thirds of people travelling on main arterial road routes are getting sub-par data quality.

So what operator came out looking the best?

Vodafone took the 'Best in Test' title for the second year running, scoring 810 out of a possible 1,000 points and apparently reigning supreme when it comes to making and receiving calls, and using data.

It should be noted, however, that the research was commissioned by Vodafone Ireland's parent company.

According to the Irish Independent, a P3 spokesman insisted that the study was "independent" and that the company stands over the results as an accurate representation of voice and data network quality across the country. It had Vodafone Ireland coming out on top in nearly every metric, with Three and Meteor not being specifically named.

The Irish Independent points to a recent national drive test survey by Comreg and networking tests by RootMetrics in July that gave more mixed results, with Meteor and Three occasionally scoring higher in some metrics.

While Vodafone Ireland was quick to champion P3's findings, a Three spokeswoman challenged the data:

“We find it hard to take seriously claims regarding the mobile networks in Ireland, based on a report which was commissioned and paid for by Vodafone, which seems to conclude that Vodafone’s network is superior across the board."