A merged Wind and 3 will play 4G catchup in Italy

Italy’s competitive landscape is going to look a lot different next year when No. 3 and No. 4 operators Wind and 3 combine into a single provider bigger than both TIM and Vodafone. But according to our new State of Mobile Networks report for Italy, a merged Wind and 3 will need to make the most of their joint spectrum and network assets if they plan to close the 4G performance gap with their rivals.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Moyan Brenn

Image courtesy of Flickr user Moyan Brenn

OpenSignal’s analysis found there was a clear split between the current larger and smaller operators in Italy when it comes to providing a consistent LTE connection. Both Vodafone and TIM were able to supply our testers with a 4G connection more than 65% of the time, but our users could find a similar connection on neither Wind nor 3’s LTE networks more than 40% of the time. Both Wind and 3 both offered good 4G speeds, the problem was those 4G speeds weren’t available to users all that often.

It was Vodafone that emerged as the most dominant force in our performance tables. It won five of our six awards outright and tied with TIM for the sixth. It not only had the fastest HSPA and LTE connections in our tests but also the most widely accessible 4G signals. When we broke down our data in Italy’s four largest cities, we found Vodafone once again won big in our speed tests, but it faced a stiffer challenge from TIM in 4G availability.

In Milan, Naples and Rome TIM and Vodafone were statistically tied in 4G availability in our tests, but TIM won our availability award in Turin outright, as it was able to supply our users with an LTE link an impressive 85.6% of the time. In fact, we measured  impressive 4G performance in Turin overall. The fastest speeds we measured in Italy were on Vodafone’s LTE network in Turin, averaging 50.7 Mbps.

For our full analysis including a look at our interactive charts, check out the full Italy report.

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