T-Mobile dubbed best network in The Netherlands, amid strong showing for market

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T-Mobile Netherlands has been named the best performing network in the country, according to the latest research by testing agency P3, which found the Deutsche Telekom-owned operator achieved its highest ever score.

P3 tested the performance of KPN, Tele2, T-Mobile and Vodafone across 21 major cities, 31 smaller towns and along 3,600 kilometres of main roads. It also assessed network performance in walktests and along rail routes.

With strong performances for both voice and data, T-Mobile scored 977 points and was dubbed "outstanding". Second placed Vodafone was also given the outstanding grade but amassed 962 points because of a poorer data score.

The report noted that KPN improved the quality of its voice performance during the past 12 months and was in third place with 940 points. It was deemed "very good" as was fourth placed Tele2, which scored 908.

[Read more: Operators swap speed for coverage to get more online, claims new report]

It has been an eventful 12 months for the Dutch market, with Vodafone Ziggo, the joint venture between Vodafone and Liberty Global getting off the ground and T-Mobile revealing plans to take over Tele2, which should be completed by the end of 2018.

Last year, T-Mobile was the only network to notch up the outstanding grade. Since then all four operators introduced LTE-Advanced and VoLTE to their networks.

[Read more: T-Mobile Netherlands introduces Massive MIMO to Amsterdam]

The report said: "As the distinct leader in the data category and being on par with Vodafone in the voice discipline, T-Mobile‘s grade 'outstanding' is well deserved.

"If this operator succeeds in integrating the frequencies and base stations of its projected subsidiary Tele2, it will be excellently positioned for the future."

Hakan Ekmen, CEO P3 communications, said: “The Netherlands are a very competitive and innovative market and all Dutch operators prove to have excellent networks. It is very encouraging that three of the four operators have once again improved their score compared to last year’s benchmark. It is also remarkable that all four operators have achieved the best grades 'very good' or 'outstanding'."

While P3's latest report spelled good news for the Dutch market, its predecessor caused consternation at Swiss operator Salt. Its CEO said the findings, which placed it third among the country's four operators, amounted to "an attack to our staff who are on the ground every day, to our suppliers in Switzerland and to our customers".