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The Isle of Man's Best Network

Sure provides faster data, better call quality and better 4G+ coverage. And that’s a fact.

In 2017, Sure commissioned an independent survey of the mobile networks in the Isle of Man to understand the differences between Sure and Manx Telecom (MT). The survey was completed by Systemics Group - a global expert in Quality of Experience benchmarking. They help operators and regulators around the world understand the true performance of mobile networks.

The results of the Systemics Group research are based on detailed drive tests of the Sure and MT networks. In summary there were:

• 40 solid hours of tests

• 600 miles driven

• 2,400 calls per operator (each of 85 seconds)

• 440 data tests per operator





Average download speed




4G+ coverage




Voice quality




Coverage map*

Light orange: Good coverage indoors and outdoors
Light pink: Good coverage outdoors


Network Facts

Claim 1 - Average Download Speed

Across the island there were 440 tests for each operator of the data experience that they provide. The average download speed on the Sure Network was 44 Mbps in comparison to 32 Mbps on the MT network. Sure average download speeds are therefore 38% faster than Manx Telecom.

Claim 2 - 4G+ Coverage

4G+ refers to an evolution of 4G technology that uses multiple radio frequencies at the same time. Technically this is known as carrier aggregation, what this means to customers is faster speeds. The results were that 75% of data tests on Sure's network were whilst connected to 4G+, whilst only 4% of MT's tests were. At the time of the report Systemics noted that MT had restricted carrier aggregation to Douglas whereas Sure had deployed carrier aggregation island wide.

Claim 3 - Voice Quality

For this test a standard measure of voice quality (MOS) was used. In this measure the best possible score is 5. The result for Sure was 3.13, the result for MT was 2.44. Sure's network quality is therefore measured as 28% better than MT.

MT claims

Since releasing our results Manx Telecom have released the results of their own testing, claiming to have a superior network to Sure’s.  

MT and Sure both conducted independent drive tests with reputable companies at the end of 2017. In some areas of the independent test that we commissioned MT achieved a better score, but these areas do not have a significant impact on mobile experience. Sure scored considerably better in the areas which really matter for customers’ mobile experience including the average download speed and 4G+ coverage.

We’re confident that customers will notice the difference in the experience on our network thanks to our investment in 4G+, which the entire mobile industry accepts is a game-changer when it comes to data speeds. Sure has 75% coverage of 4G+ compared to MT’s 4%.

Sure has gained over 6,500 new customers in the past six months and won the IOM Government tender for their mobile business as a result of our investment in 4G+ mobile technology, our research also shows 9/10 Sure customers are happy with our service. So we stand by our claims that we are the best network, but welcome customers to try Sure and decide for themselves.

We’re so confident that the results speak for themselves that we’ve published direct extracts from the report – including where we didn’t score as highly as MT to ensure total transparency:

Voice call completion and set up time

In our tests call setup time for MT was better than Sure, by a fractional 0.8 seconds (Sure 8.4s, MT 7.6s) and a call setup failure rate which MT was lower by just 0.4%.

By contrast, the drop call rate (a call failure during a call) was 0.4% higher on MT (1%) than Sure (0.6%).

Taking these measures together, the overall service success rate for calls was identical for MT and Sure – 98.2%, however the voice quality measure was significantly better for Sure than MT – a claim that we therefore stand by.

Download the full report data here

Web browsing speeds:

As with voice there are many variables to a data test, and there are some measures that MT outperformed Sure on.

Specifically MT had a 0.2 second faster download on a small (3MB) file, for browsing websites, MT also had a 0.4 seconds faster browsing time, however in real life usage, the performance from one website to the next can be a significantly larger variable than this specific test.

The key measure that we have chosen, and is industry standard, is based upon the average download speed on the network, the most important measure for our customers who are downloading huge amounts of data in the form of music, images and video. On this measure Sure averages 12Mbps faster than MT on download speeds and 3.5Mbps faster on upload speed – a significant and important difference. We therefore stand by our claim of fastest network.


*Source data is a computer generated prediction obtained from Atoll, Sure’s network planning tool as of 18 May 2017. Coverage and speed may be affected by factors such as building materials, tree cover, other physical objects and weather conditions as well as how many other people are using the network. These results are a guide and not a guarantee of service. To access 4G speeds you will need a 4G compatible device.  

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