by R. K. Bloom

Consolidated Testing GPRS networks in Moscow

Consolidated Testing GPRS networks in Moscow

Introduction

Not so long ago, I was left without normal access to the Internet. We will not go into details of the process of deprivation of my network, and just focus on what happened after that. The need for internet I have quite high. Since the main work takes place directly in the network, I needed to urgently find an alternative to the modem. A little reflection, I decided that out of this situation-GPRS.

Since then, its been over two months. During this time, I checked the work of all GSM operators, which carry the possibility of the Internet via GPRS connection on the territory of Moscow and the region. And because I like to express on paper and in electronic form anything that connects me to the world of Hi-Tech, it was decided to bring my findings to the public.

What are we going to test?

After tasting all the delights of GPRS connection is difficult to reject the service in the future. And in fact very often have to deal with various problems, in general, work on the Internet via GPRS is possible.

Testing was conducted to identify the most high-quality operator-service provider GPRS. The fact that recently the interest of potential users of GPRS rose sharply in relation to the quality of work. And here it is, we usually always causes a lot of controversy, because as we know, “there is nothing like leather.” It turns out that an operator is performing poorly, the other well, but in reality it is not so, and both operators are working relatively well. So that readers share my experience, I consider it my duty. Furthermore, I guarantee an objective evaluation of services and warn you that my results may not coincide with tests of other publications.

How do we test?

I used three mobile phone supporting GPRS. This Nokia 6310i, Motorola T720, and LG5220 – we can say that the apparatus is completely different. If not carefully examine all the functions of these devices, in principle, the only thing that unites them is the support of GPRS

Testing was conducted at different times of day. So, I tried to compensate for errors in the measurements, which clearly occurred because of busy channels. During the last month I have carefully measured the speed of the three mobile operators in Moscow. This table indicates the time of day with time connections.

I give my explanation:

7:30 am. Usually in this time, most people are going to work or to study. In the morning is usually not a big boot.

11:00 am. Has already begun working day, someone sitting in the car, download mail, and someone tries to access the Internet from the desktop computer (a lot of people in the office turned off the Internet for several reasons, but the network still want a way out …).

15:30 of the day. Lunch is over, summed up the day. At this time, web-surfing is particularly popular.

20:30 pm. Internet channels Dial-Up connections most downloaded. With GPRS the situation is similar. Classify Internet users at this time of day can be very succinctly – it could be anyone. Starting from the student, finishing university professor. Accordingly, the load is high. By downloading MP3, to text files.

2:00 am. Two years ago at this time of day the network began a completely different life. Internet access at this time is almost free, but users will still not much. For late, people are sleeping …. If you want something to swing over GPRS or dial-up connection, then only at night …

The following table shows the cellular operators that provide service to GPRS.

As tests were conducted to measure the quality of work?

The numbers are always the first place, for this reason I used the fastest hosting provider in Moscow, which for reasons of advertising, I will not name. For the most interested can reply privately by e-mail. So … me on a dedicated disk space, I posted a zip file, a total of 5 MB or 5120 KB. Multiple html documents with different images. With the help of manager for uploads, I at different times of the day draining the file and looked at the speed and download time. Such a test I conducted with all operators on a temporary table (Table 1), which shows a little higher.

Then I took all the phones and walking around Moscow using Wap over GPRS to view email. Sometimes I commute Dell Axim X5 Pocket PC with the Nokia 6310i and considered a web page. Thus, held the usual test that any of you can repeat. The user decided to see how it all works, and made conclusions.

Week One. Beeline

The first statement was, of course, Beeline. SIM-card Beeline lives in my phone more than five years. And when I realized that I need GPRS, it is only a “bee,” he made immediately after the introduction of all the settings.

I will start with a connection. It is not always a high level. Chronic problems seen with the compounds of applications such as ICQ and file managers in the use of FTP. Web-pages loaded very quickly and is not bad. Mail works fine, but occasionally there are problems with the western mail servers. For example, my mailbox at gmx.de do not wish to open. WAP over GPRS does not work well, for some unknown reason, WAP pages load very long time or even an error message comes. Most likely this is due to the strong load wap site at the beeline (wap.beeline.ru).

The essential difference from other operators, Beeline – a GPRS coverage in Moscow and the region. GPRS is everywhere where there is a Beeline. Good or bad, but everywhere. A friend of mine went to the city of Kursk, and was surprised that there is in Beeline GPRS works fine! Now the bad news. Test results for download speed, refer to the table (indicated by the mean velocity).

Week Two. Megafon

The second operator, who was also nearby – Megaphone. More recently, appeared in a number of my slender conservative preferences, and in that time has earned a bad reputation. C GPRS problems arose as soon as I wanted to configure it. Let me start by saying that my house is MegaFon GPRS from probation. That is, icon is lit on all displays. But that does not mean that I have, when or whether to use get GPRS. The problem is banal – overwhelmed by a time-slot GPRS sessions.

For me there is no place – ever, at any time, day or night. And so with three cell phones, I went to the other end of Moscow in area “Kuzminki”, where he conducted research on your favorite Dell Latitude laptop and PDA Dell Axim X5.

In “Kuzminki” Megaphone earned normally. In the beginning, however, did not want to run, but then a miracle happened and I went into the net.

ICQ works fine, although reports are late in sending it, but the main thing that come and go. Web working medium, creating a clear association with the dial-up modem. But the mail is loaded with the entire world. For FTP servers to walk without a problem, but sometimes the connection is lost (or rather, it seems the “failure”). But I did not have enough speed when loading Flash applications, which the to Beeline, I have not watched. In Moscow, working GPRS Megafon “holes”. Although the stable shows that there is GPRS. By the way, just want to warn connect to unlimited GPRS. Of course, I believe that someone he works, but I have a “anlim” anywhere at all and did not work. Only in the shopping center “Gorbushka” grunt “ICQ” on your PDA. Sometimes he would start working after three hours of the night. Wap over GPRS works fine! Oddly enough, but wap.beeline.ru loaded on access to Megaphone noticeably faster. The main advantage of GPRS from Megaphone – speed. A major drawback – the price. After all, $ 0.45 per megabyte of information is not enough.

Week Three. MTS

I do not know why, but MTS firmly entrenched in the market for mobile services as a quality and expensive operator. I confess, I never longer than three months did not use the number of MTS, but in the case of GPRS, was very pleased – the quality of services were up to par. Coverage of Moscow, as well as for Beeline, is perfect! Wherever there is a network – there is and GPRS. The rate of excellent! MTS has the least problems with congestion on the channel time. Speed ??work is usually not as high as in Megafon, but at least you can be almost sure that the connection will not stop for no reason. Such oddities have Beeline and Megafon have. And here at MTS cliffs communication is no problem. ICQ works immediately. FTP works fine! I even downloaded the update page sponsored by sitting on a stump in the “Kuzminki” Forest Park (no joke!). Wap over gprs – excellent! Speed ??of loading pages perfectly! Downloading ring tones – excellent!.

* May be this “bug” program ReGet, but the download speed usually does not fall below 6, and often stayed in the area of ??9kb / s. Sometimes, the rate grew to 13 kB / s.

Summary of preliminary results.

What can we say with confidence? We clearly do not stand still, and development continues. By the way, surely youve noticed the advertising of a new mobile operator skylink? If you need a really fast, mobile Internet, it is likely to be your way out. The only serious problem – the price of the issue. And even very expensive. I do not imagine people who are for the mobile Internet will be paying $ 200 for the connection and still buy the phone, whose appearance can frighten even worldly-wise man experienced in mobile technology. So for us is the situation with GPRS and lets face it – normal.

Is it worth paying for GPRS a lot of money and split the cost of mobile communications with the cost of the Internet? Decide for yourself, Ive already lived through a period when I wanted to download all that interesting. Now my own internet has gained a clear virtual boundaries, and I almost did not download anything from the net but html-documents, and polyphonic ringtones for your phone. If you do not need to download a lot of information, then GPRS for you to be very effective solution. And if you want to download, then just count. Take the Beeline. Cost 1Mbayta data is 0.23 dollars. It turns out that 10 MB will cost 2 dollars 30 cents. For statistics – running ICQ, a contact sheet of about 300 people will “eat” about 2 MB in 6 hours. Of course it is based communication on ICQ. All these figures are roughly as all in different ways using the network.

Results

Now you can begin to study the charts.

The presented graph shows how the GPRS in Moscow and the region. Most MTS provides superb quality, but the higher the rate of Megafon. Prices on the traffic, taking into account taxes, as of 21.01.2003 are given in this table:

Beeline holds a middle position in the price control. However, from 22.01.2004, the companys pricing policy will worsen as introduced fee for the use of GPRS internet, it will be $ 3 per month. As I said in the subscription service, after the introduction of new tariffs, Beeline expects a massive rejection of the GPRS services tariff plans B +, which should cause a sharp increase in the quality of the network. But for the moment the quality of the provision of services for Beeline GPRS is not the highest level. Hopefully, the implementation of plans BeeLine really change the situation with GPRS.

Megaphone expensive, but fast. As I wrote above, there are significant drawbacks to network congestion. Maybe it will pass, but not a good GPRS from Megaphone I did not get, as if I did not want. For pricing GPRS services is the most expensive operator Megafon. The cost of 10 MB 4.5 dollar. But there are pluses, at night there is no one less Megaphone. That is, for night users the choice is obvious. Importantly, make sure it works in the required point, because as I said, the availability of GPRS icons does not mean that the service will work.

MTS received the absolute leader in quality and price of services. So if you need a high quality mobile internet, the MTS will provide it. Prices are not particularly high, value of 10 MB Day USD 2.90, but $ 2 a night, even. Not the cheapest way, but if you need stability, the MTS is just your choice.