“In general, there are worse performances in the predominantly rural areas” of mainland Portugal, concludes a study carried out by the Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (ANACOM) in five regions

The performance of the mobile Internet is worse in the predominantly rural areas of mainland Portugal, according to studies evaluating the performance of mobile services of the Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (Anacom) in five regions.

With the use of telecommuting and distance learning, following the state of emergency due to the covid-19 pandemic, the topic of Internet access has been on the agenda, with several complaints about the difficulties in some regions of the country in access ‘online’.

Anacom carried out five studies to assess the performance of mobile voice and data (Internet) services and GSM (2G), UMTS (3G) and LTE (4G) coverage provided by Meo (Altice Portugal), NOS and Vodafone Portugal in Alentejo , Algarve, Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML), Center and North.

Overall, predominantly rural areas are those that have the worst performance in terms of mobile Internet access, compared to urban areas.

In Alentejo, voice and file transfer services “register good global performances, with differences between operators and between types of urban areas in terms of data transfer speed, both in download and upload being more visible”, according to the study.

In the data transfer speed indicator, “the best performances are observed in predominantly urban areas”, concludes the study carried out between May 7 and 28, 2019, having covered 3,539 kms, of which 342 were in tests.

In the predominantly urban areas of Alentejo “the best performances are observed, with average success rates in the establishment and maintenance of data sessions of 97.7%, in the transfer of the reference web page, and 93.8% in the transfer of the public web page, with statistically significant differences from the other urban typologies “.

In other words, performance is better than in rural or moderately urban areas.

Also in the Algarve, whose fieldwork took place between 20 and 29 October, where 273 kms of tests were covered, surfing the Internet in rural areas can be difficult, and in certain medium-urban areas difficulties are also detected.

Internet video and YouTube navigation services ‘video streaming’ and also the data transmission latency in the Algarve “show lower performance, compared to the transfer of files, also observing some differences between operators and typologies of urban areas”, says the study, adding that, “in general, there are worse performances in moderately urban and predominantly rural areas”.

It also points out that in the predominantly rural and moderately urban areas of the Algarve “there are the worst performances” of the indicator of duration of transfer of the web page, “without statistically significant differences between them, but with statistically significant differences” compared to the predominantly urban ones.

Also in the Center, mobile Internet navigation services recorded “worst performances in predominantly rural areas”.

With regard to file transfer, “there is a good overall performance, with some differences in performance between operators and, more markedly, between the typologies of urban areas”.

The ability to establish and retain file transfer sessions and data transfer speed (‘download’ and ‘upload’) “present a marked degradation in predominantly rural areas”, the study points out.

In Internet browsing services and YouTube ‘video streaming’, “and also the data transmission latency, present lower performances, in relation to the transfer of files, observing also some differences between the operators and, more accentuated, between typologies of urban areas “.

Once again, “generally speaking, there are worse performances in predominantly rural areas”, concludes the study, which took place between the 4th and the 18th of December last, having been covered 344 kms in tests.

In the North, with regard to file transfer, “in predominantly rural areas there is a marked degradation” in the ratio of termination of data sessions. Here, too, at the speed of data transfer, the best performances are in predominantly urban areas.

In terms of establishment and retention of data sessions, in the most rural areas the levels of the indicator “do not exceed 80.3%”, against ratios greater than 99.4% in the predominantly urban ones, it is read in the study, that ran between 03 and February 13, 2020, with 3,255 kms covered, of which 303 were in tests.