Our mobile network has been awarded 'Best in Test' in Australia for the fifth year in a row

Following extensive testing by industry benchmarking leader umlaut, we’ve once again been awarded their coveted “Best in Test” ranking, and not just for the first or second time, but for the fifth year in succession.
Iskra Nikolova · 14 November 2023 · 2 minute read

Allowing everyone to connect and thrive with Australia’s best network is what drives us to do what we do every day.  At the core of that, is giving our customers the best possible experience on our mobile network, the largest and most reliable in the country.

While we’re confident the work and investments we’ve made into expanding and strengthening our mobile network over the last few years have reinforced Telstra’s mobile networks position as Australia’s best mobile network, it’s not just us who think so.

Following extensive testing by industry benchmarking leader umlaut, we’ve once again been awarded their coveted “Best in Test” ranking, and not just for the first or second time, but for the fifth year in succession. 

We’re a big believer that consistency matters. Anyone can score the odd win, but it takes a sustained commitment to network excellence over time to win the Best in Test award year after year, which recognises that our customers are consistently getting the best a network can offer.

On top of this historical feat, we also scored wins across the major categories umlaut tested - including data, voice, reliability and crowd sourced quality.

How umlaut conducted its tests

umlaut’s Best in Test benchmark is no small task. 

During October 2023, umlaut scoured the country with multiple teams of testers. They performed walking tests and driving tests of the network in and around 15 cities, 29 towns and 30 other locations, along 23,000 kilometres of roadway looking at how every network in the country performs.

In each location, umlaut testers would take multiple samples of voice and data network quality. To ensure greater accuracy, their drive/walk survey data is supplemented by test data from an army of tens of thousands of ‘crowd’ testers contributing their own samples from an Area of Australia over 700,000 km2 in size. 

Indeed, the benchmark in Australia is the not just the largest annual benchmark in Australia but also one of the largest in the world now conducted by umlaut.

Here’s where they tested:

All told, over 33,000 voice samples and over 240,000 data samples were taken over the testing period.

And all these tests painted a clear picture: we are the number 1 overall mobile network in the country, and in four major individual categories.

What does all this testing mean?

All the testing gave us a clear picture of how well our network performs, and what makes it number one in the nation.

Overall, we won:

  • Best in test (overall win)

  • Best in data

  • Best in voice

  • Best in reliability

  • Best in crowdsourced quality

And while this isn’t the first time we’ve won these awards, it’s the first time we’ve won Best In Test over 5 consecutive years, a feat few other operators have achieved globally. 
Interested in learning more? You can have a look at umlaut’s 2023/10 mobile certificate.

How we built Australia’s best mobile network


We’ve been working hard and investing in our network to make sure Australians have access to the connectivity they need for now and the future. 

We continue to expand regional coverage and our mobile coverage footprint now reaches 99.6% of the population and 2.7 million square kilometres of the country’s landmass – that’s around 1 million square kilometres more coverage than any other network, an area roughly equivalent to New South Wales and Victoria combined.

Currently, over 85% of Australians have access to our multi-award winning 5G network. As of September 2023 we have deployed 5G to more than 4,900 sites within selected areas of more than 450 major and regional cities, making it easily the largest 5G network in Australia.

And it’s only going to get better – with our goal to have 95% population coverage for 5G, and to have more than 80% of all our mobile traffic on 5G by June 2025.

By Iskra Nikolova

Network and Infrastructure Executive

Iskra Nikolova joined Telstra in November 2020 as the Network and Infrastructure Executive. At Telstra Iskra is responsible for the Customer Access Networks (Fixed and Mobile), Transport and IP, Private Cloud infrastructure and Telstra’s International Network. Born in Bulgaria, Iskra relocated to the UK in her late twenties with her husband and son and has developed her career in London working for companies such as Ericsson, MCI Worldcom and Cable&Wireless in engineering and commercial roles and has worked in senior leadership Network roles in telecommunications businesses across the world. Iskra holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Telecommunications and an MBA from London Business School. In her spare time she enjoys cycling and photography and exploring Melbourne and Victoria where she is based.