Virgin Media has scooped the overall Dongle on the Move 2009 Award, the top prize in the first Mobile Broadband Genie Road Trip Awards. Vodafone took the runners- up prize.
Armed with laptops, plus dongles supplied by all six providers, Genie staff took a 350-mile round trip from Cambridge to Bournemouth, putting the dongles through their paces all the way. The road trip was designed to see how well mobile broadband really performed on the move, as it is often advertised by providers.
This was an on-the-spot exercise over two days, using the kind of frustrating conditions consumers find them themselves in every day. The results echoed the general reaction Mobile Broadband Genie gets from its visitors: we expect much more than it is currently able to supply.
Mobile broadband has come a long way in a short time, but consumers need to be aware of its limitations, says Broadband Genie Editor, Chris Marling. The service is often oversold, which can leave customers disillusioned. However, for many people, it can be a great solution to their Internet problems.
Marling adds that both Virgin Media and Vodafone performed admirably.
They completed the majority of challenges and maintaining reasonable average upload and download speeds throughout, he says. However, both still suffered disconnects and long periods of downtime in rural locations.
Mobile Broadband Genie performed a variety of tests throughout the journey. As well as running the Mobile Broadband Genie speed tests throughout the trip, the team performed common tasks such as downloading BBC podcasts, streaming audio and video via YouTube and Spotify, and uploading photos to Facebook.
Heres the full list of award winners:
- Dongle on the Move 2009: Virgin Media. (Runner up: Vodafone)
- Road Trip Downloader 2009: Virgin Media. (Runner up: Vodafone)
- Road Trip Uploader 2009: Vodafone. (Runner up: O2)
- Road Trip's Most Stable 2009: O2. (Runner up: Orange)
- Road Trip Coverage 2009: Vodafone. (Runner up: Virgin Media)
- Dongle Software 2009: T-Mobile and Virgin Media (joint winners)
Theres more information about the tests and the results here.