Free Mobile last in 5G: the operator criticizes the Arcep study

Arcep recently published his study on the performance of mobile networks and it turns out that Free Mobileis in last place, whether for 5G or for other media.

The operator criticizes the methodology used by the telecoms policeman.

Free Mobile does not like Arcep’s measurements for its 5G test

It was on Twitter that Free Mobile, using its @Free_ 1337 account dedicated to its network, decided to tackle the study on the quality of 5G. Arcep noted in particular that the average speed of Xavier Niel’s operator was 31 Mb / s, against 142 Mb / s at Orange, 85 Mb / s at SFR and 71 Mb / s at Bouygues Telecom.

“These disparities result from the measurement protocol. The download speeds are very different from the most used tools, Speedtest, RNCMobile and NPerf, as in real use ” , begins Free. The group explains that the Arcep protocol consisted of using a single TCP Cubic single-threaded connection to measure the download time and then deduce the throughput. “So what is measured is the rate at which the Cubic congestion control algorithm self-regulates its speed over a single connection,” Free says before giving more details in a tweet:

Free Mobile defends itself by ensuring that its network “has been optimized for use with several connections (multithreaded)” , stressing in passing that several applications use several connections, including those for playing video. The operator says it can go up to 200 connections.

Any changes for the next study?

In addition, Free Mobile talks about the servers used to do the tests:

The operator concludes by explaining that in real use, “Free Mobile subscribers have high speeds in 4G, and even more in 5G” . He adds: “the ARCEP measurement protocol does not reflect the actual uses of mobile subscribers and the speeds of Free Mobile subscribers. The next test campaigns will have to evolve to be closer to the realities in the field ” .