Telecom Ultra Broadband (VDSL) Speed Test Comparison

Telecom Ultra Broadband (VDSL) Speed Test Comparison

I recently moved from TelstraClear’s (now Vodafone) cable broadband network to Telecom’s Ultra Broadband. Fibre isn’t available in my suburb yet (Eastern Christchurch – go figure) so I’m on their VDSL option.

I’d joined Telstra back in March of 2010. I had just moved from the Telecom network where I was getting 1.43Mb/s download speed and was stoked to be getting 10.21Mb/s with Telstra. More recently I had been getting around 14Mb/s.

In October of this year (2013), with all of the hype around the ‘Ultra’ networks, I figured I’d change providers. One of the main reasons for changing was that I was paying around $117 per month for TelstraClear’s LightSpeed plan with 40GB of data allowance and Telecom Ultra Broadband were offering 80GB for $95. No-brainer.

Side note: this comparison is obviously against an older plan – one from a provider who is now a part of Vodafone. Vodafone do offer the Ultra Fast Broadband plan at a comparable price. However their address checker says that I would only be able to access their standard ADSL plans.

Telecom’s VDSL plan suggests that you can expect a download speed of between 15 and 70Mbps and upload speed of between 5 and 10Mbps.  Faster than I was getting on TelstraClear but the proof is in the pudding.

After a few teething problems with the new VDSL modem not actually connecting to the Internet (it turned out that it needed a firmware upgrade), I carried out a speed test.

The Speed Test

I thought it would be pretty cool to not just compare the old and new network providers, but to also compare the speed on various devices. My wife and I are lucky in that we have a few – PC, iPhone 4S, iPad Retina, iPad Mini and Sony Ericsson Android – all but the PC and the Ericsson are provided by our workplaces. The advantages of working in Digital Media!

Just for fun, I also carried out a speed test while at a hotel and also while at the Air New Zealand Koru Lounge in Auckland.

I did most of the tests on my iPad while connected to my Wi-Fi. I made sure I had a good signal and closed all other apps before carrying out the test. I also made sure there were no other devices that were actively using the network at the same time. All of these tests have been carried out within a short space of time in 2013 and using Ookla’s SpeedTest app for iPhone and Android with a local server selected.

I only carried out the tests once. I know I should have carried out a few tests each and taken an average … but ain’t nobody got time for that.

TelstraClear Cable vs. Telecom Ultra Broadband (… vs. Hotel vs. Koru Lounge)

iPad on TelstraClear Cable Broadband

iPad Speed Test on TelstraClear

TelstraClear: Ping: 14 ms. Download 14.62 Mbps. Upload: 1.90 Mbps.

iPad on Telecom Ultra Broadband (VDSL)

iPad Speed Test Telecom Ultra Broadband VDSL

Ping: 10 ms. Download: 30.50 Mbps. Upload: 8.10 Mbps.

In Summary

Not a bad idea to change providers then! The download speed is twice as fast (although it does vary – it was 22Mbps when I tried this just after the install) and upload speed is over four times as fast. Great for backing-up files online or for video calling.

Not to mention my data allowance is twice the capacity (80GB vs. 40GB) and I’m paying less ($95 vs. $117 … although with a weekend calling option and with wire maintenance it comes to $104 incl.).

Obviously note that these results will vary. This is meant as a very broad comparison. I’m sure that Vodafone now also have some great and very fast options to replace the old TelstraClear plans. But wouldn’t the world be a nice place if your broadband provider contacted you to let you know that there may be a better option for you, rather than continue to take your money while you’re on a much worse plan than what’s currently out there?

Some Hotel. Possibly the Spencer on Byron.

Hotel Broadband Speed

Hotel: Ping 16ms. Download 0.69 Mbps. Upload 0.60 Mbps.

Air New Zealand Koru Lounge at Auckland Airport

Airport Lounge WiFi Speed Test

Airport Lounge: Ping: 8 ms. Download: 20.36 Mbps. Upload: 26.14 Mbps.

Check out that upload speed! Not sure why they would need that. Something to do with the number of people all trying to connect at once perhaps?

Mobile Device Speed Test Comparison

I also tried a speed test on a few mobile devices:

  • An iPhone 4S (iOS7)
  • An iPad Retina (iOS7)
  • An iPad Mini (iOS7)
  • A Sony Ericsson (Android version something or other. An older one)

iPad Retina vs iPad Mini Speed Test

As you can see, the results were pretty varied. All were carried out one after the other and all in the same location. Interesting to see that the iPad Mini is a fair bit slower than the iPad Retina and iPhone 4S. The Ericsson was by far the slowest and had a huge ping, but the upload speed was higher (although this one is an older ‘entry level’ phone so not a good indication of Android devices today).

I’ve added the test results from my laptop for both the WiFi speed and the cabled speed. Results are all in the table below.

Device Ping Download Upload
iPhone 4S 12 ms 29.70 8.51
iPad Mini 11 ms 23.95 8.20
iPad Retina 10 ms 30.42 8.23
Sony Ericsson (old one) 77 ms 9.57 9.48
Laptop (WiFi) 12 ms 30.64 9.63
Laptop (Ethernet) 5 ms 31.68 9.84 gives my PC test a grade of A and states that it’s faster than 89% of New Zealand … although I’d put this down to people being on a limited plan from their provider rather than down to the technology that I have.

Speed Test Result


Back in 2011, The Next Web posted a SpeedTest result carried out by one of Google Chrome’s developers. We still have a little way to go then!

1226257835 How fast is the Internet at Google? Mind blowing.

I’m looking forward to one day getting the fibre network at home. Although, in our street, we need to fix a few cracks and replace a few broken pipes before we get around to anything as flash as fibre.

  • Anthony

    Where you using the generically supplied VDSL modem from Telecom?

    • Mark Lincoln

      Yup, that’s the one.

  • Kane Evans-Mcleod

    I am a bit late to this discussion; But I live in Tauranga, and switched to VDSL in February. I get great download and upload speeds, but the latency is really bad ( ). On ADSL I used to see a latency of under 14ms. But with VDSL I see 35ms. I am so surprised to see 5ms on your tests! Is there a trick? I am with Telecom also, using the supplied Telecom Technicolor TG589vn v2 VDSL router. Cheers!

    • Guest

      Here is a screenshot… 35ms.

    • Mark Lincoln

      HI Kane, Telecom have a bit of a guide here. The videos show a few things that may affect speed. It’s possible that I’m closer to our neighbourhood’s cabinet/exchange point that you are to yours as well. Not sure that that’s specifically what affects your latency though. Here’s Telecom’s guide, hope this helps!

      Edit: and here’s an article which goes into more technical detail:

      • Kane Evans-Mcleod

        Hi Mark, I will have a read! We are literally 2 houses away from the cabinet, which gives us such good speeds. Thanks!

  • Kane Evans-Mcleod

    Here is the screen shot showing 35ms.