Mobile operators are not paying enough attention to putting mobile devices through their paces in terms of analysing data throughput and call reliability. So says Nigel Wright, vice president of test and measurement specialist Spirent, and he adds: “I don’t see much sign of it improving either.”

At a time when more and more devices are coming into mobile networks, the lack of due diligence on 3G chipset performance means that some commercial devices can be as much as 30 per cent more inefficient than others reports Spirent.

Working in conjunction with Signals Research Group, which collates and analyses the quantative data gleaned from the Spirent 8100 Mobile Devices Test System, Spirent detected a wide variation of data performance across the HSPA chipset database. Those suppliers volunteering to put their chipsets through their paces, observes Michael Thelander, Signals Research Group CEO, generally did well in the testing, which included pre-commercial and commercial Category 8 (7.2Mbps) and Category 6 (3.6Mbps) HSPA chipset solutions. Six chipset vendors stood out in terms of best performance: Icera, Infineon, InterDigital, Ericsson Mobile Platforms (EMP), Qualcomm and Nokia.

But there are still some problems with laptop-embedded 3G chipsets, according to Thelander. “I’m less than thrilled with them,” he says. “But that is not necessarily the fault of the chipset but with the PC.”

Wright warns that more complex LTE devices, which use additional technology such as MIMO, will pose more challenges for operators if they don’t ramp up their testing efforts.