Mobile Marketing Data Laboratory recently conducted a study into data packet congestion in LTE 4G networks in Tokyo. Packet congestion was defined in this survey as when on an LTE connection the web page under test – Yahoo! Japan’s top page was used – fails to completely load within 30 seconds.


Between the 10th and 14th of June 2013 the investigation team visited the six busiest stations on the Tokyo Yamanote line, choosing two spots on each to test, during both the morning peak period of 7 am to 9 am, and evening peak of 5 pm to 7 pm. 100 connections were made from each collection point, for a total of 1,200 tests for each phone.

Specifically, the stations and locations were Shinjuku South and East entrances, Ikebukuro in front of South ticket wicket and Seibu East entrance, Shibuya in front of Tamagawa ticket wicket and Hikarie entrance, Tokyo Yaesu Central entrance and Marunouchi North entrance, Shinagawa Minato South entrance and Central ticket wicket, and Shinbashi Kasumori entrance and SL Plaza. For the tests, au and SoftBank iPhone 5s tested out Apple connections, and Android was represented by docomo’s Xperia Z, au’s HTC J butterfly, and SoftBank’s Aquos Phone Xx.

Instead of a graph, here’s Shinbashi’s SL Plaza:

17:01 Shinbashi

SL is the abbreviation used in Japan for Steam Locomotive, as you might have guessed!

Research results

1. iPhone 5 packet congestion rates

Station au iPhone 5 congestion rate SoftBank iPhone 5 congestion rate
Shinjuku 40.0% 3.0%
Ikebukuro 9.5% 2.0%
Shibuya 3.0% 0.0%
Tokyo 5.0% 0.0%
Shinagawa 52.5% 9.0%
Shinbashi 12.5% 0.0%
Total 20.4% 2.3%

2. iPhone 5 page load time

Station au iPhone 5 page load time SoftBank iPhone 5 page load time
Shinjuku 18.11 seconds 5.50 seconds
Ikebukuro 8.24 seconds 4.84 seconds
Shibuya 6.46 seconds 3.74 seconds
Tokyo 7.49 seconds 4.15 seconds
Shinagawa 18.32 seconds 7.94 seconds
Shinbashi 9.64 seconds 3.28 seconds
Total 11.38 seconds 4.91 seconds

By time of day, au was about 50% slower in the evening, versus about 20% for SoftBank. By day of the week, Monday and Friday mornings were slower than the mid-week mornings for both carriers, and Friday evening was the slowest overall for au.

3. Android packet congestion rates

Station docomo Xperia Z congestion rate au HTC J congestion rate SoftBank Aquos Phone Xx congestion rate
Shinjuku 4.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Ikebukuro 17.5% 0.0% 0.0%
Shibuya 2.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Tokyo 3.5% 0.0% 0.0%
Shinagawa 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Shinbashi 2.5% 0.0% 0.0%
Total 4.9% 0.0% 0.0%

4. Android page load time

Station docomo Xperia Z page load time au HTC J page load time SoftBank Aquos Phone Xx page load time
Shinjuku 6.27 seconds 2.47 seconds 3.30 seconds
Ikebukuro 8.96 seconds 3.16 seconds 5.12 seconds
Shibuya 4.78 seconds 2.76 seconds 3.76 seconds
Tokyo 8.06 seconds 2.98 seconds 3.46 seconds
Shinagawa 4.00 seconds 3.28 seconds 3.86 seconds
Shinbashi 5.08 seconds 3.24 seconds 4.19 seconds
Total 6.19 seconds 2.98 seconds 3.95 seconds

It was difficult to see any obvious trend by time of day or weekday here.

1 Comment

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[…] been putting a lot of effort into stressing how their network has improved – indeed, I have previously presented statistics showing how good they are – and the message seems to be getting through with satisfaction ratings being higher in […]

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