OpenSignal Insights

India becoming increasingly switched on to the potential of Wifi

The government in India is becoming increasingly turned on to the potential of public Wifi networks, planning to provide coverage to some 250,000 Panchayats (local administrative offices) and 5000 railway stations within the next two years. This interest is justified as smartphone penetration grows. The World Bank believes that a 10% increase in Internet penetration can generate a 1.4% increase in GDP. And this would likely be even higher in a developing market like India with a large rural population and limited access to banking and e-payment services that smartphones can provide.

There’s been a huge amount of excitement around 4G networks in India, as competition rises and more and more Indians are coming online. In our last State of Mobile Networks: India report, we measured substantial improvements in 4G availability in India, as operators have made access to LTE signals a new priority. But Wifi connectivity among mobile users is still relatively low in India, even though the focus on Wifi has been renewed.

Wifi networks don’t get the same amount of interest in the subcontinent, as the evolution of telecoms has somewhat skipped the fixed-broadband stage of development and raced straight onto 4G. Nonetheless, there are a significant number of Wifi users in India connecting at home or at work, while publicly-accessible Wifi is becoming more and more important as data use increases.

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Taiwan has many frontrunners in OpenSignal’s 4G metrics

If you’re looking for a single 4G leader in Taiwan, you have a tough choice to make. In OpenSignal’s State of Mobile Networks: Taiwan report published today, we had four winners for the four 4G metrics we tracked. Chunghwa took the award for 4G download speed. FarEasTone stood out in our 4G upload speed and latency categories. Finally GT and Taiwan Mobile were tied for first place in our 4G availability metric. When it comes to technical prowess, the level of 4G competition in Taiwan is intense.

Taiwan's iconic skyscraper Taipei 101 (Photo courtesy of Flickr user Eduardo M. C.)

Taiwan’s iconic skyscraper Taipei 101 (Photo courtesy of Flickr user Eduardo M. C.)

The good news for Taiwan’s consumers is that the overall 4G experience on the island is in solid shape, and in many areas it’s improving. All five Taiwanese operators were able to provide 4G connections more than 85% of the time, according to our 4G availability measurements. Our results also show that two operators, GT and Taiwan Mobile, have crossed the 90% LTE availability threshold.

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Seoul and Singapore top OpenSignal’s list of East Asia’s fastest 4G cities

In the last year, OpenSignal has ramped up its coverage in East Asia, introducing new State of Mobile Networks reports for Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. While we’ve done plenty of analysis within specific countries in the region, it’s high time we took a broader look at the region as a whole. In the first of a series of blog posts looking at East Asia, we’ve decided to examine the 4G download and upload speeds of the major cities in the region to see how they compare.

For this analysis, we looked at 12 cities, each representing the big economic centers of their respective countries or territories, drawing on data from the March-May test period. You can see the results in the chart below.

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The 5G investment conundrum: Cutting through the hype

As we move into the second half of 2018, the hype around 5G shows no signs of diminishing. There was palpable excitement about the next generation of mobile networks at Mobile World Congress in February, driven by flashy demos from vendors touting their network solutions. And at the FIFA World Cup football tournament in Russia at the moment, local operators MTS and MegaFon are demonstrating the technology in special 5G trial zones.

However, the investment case for mobile operators is not much clearer now than it was a year ago. Operators are jumping on the 5G bandwagon, announcing early trials and ambitious network launch dates that, fingers crossed, will be met. But once you’ve cut through all the hype and razzmatazz, what’s the business case for 5G? And what impact will this new generation of technologies have on improving the mobile customer experience?

Ericsson 5G

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One operator edges ahead in the Colombian 4G speed race

The race for the top spots in OpenSignal’s Colombia 4G speed metrics is opening up, as one operator has pulled ahead of the pack in our 4G download and overall speed categories. Our latest State of Mobile Networks: Colombia report shows that Tigo has inched ahead in both these key metrics.

Tigo topped our 4G download speed category with an average speed of 18.8 Mbps, beating Claro’s score of 17.6 Mbps and Movistar’s 16.5 Mbps. Colombia’s operators registered a three-way draw in this metric in our last report six months ago. Tigo also won our overall download speed category, pulling ahead of Movistar after the two scored a draw six months previous. Tigo’s winning average speed of 10.5 Mbps in our measurements was closely followed though by Movistar on 9.6 Mbps and Claro’s 9 Mbps.

Colombia beetle

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Telstra scores a winner in Australia 4G upload speeds

Australia is well known for its love of sport. This summer, their cricket team are playing away in England and Zimbabwe, the rugby team host Ireland, while the football team are hoping to get beyond the group stages at the World Cup in Russia (they reached the last 16 in OpenSignal’s own World Cup of mobile networks).

And more and more fans will be enjoying and interacting with their favorite teams via mobile devices. Over 8 billion digital interactions are expected during the World Cup, and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has 128 million followers on Instagram alone. An increasing part of the sports fan experience is sharing your passion for your team on social media, via Facebook photos, Tweets and video uploads.

But how are Australia’s mobile networks expected to perform with a summer of sports uploading? OpenSignal took a look at our measurements for average 4G upload speeds for the country’s three national operators in the previous three months – and the winner was something of a surprise.

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Ripe fruit and rotten tomatoes – our pick of Spain’s mobile crop

Summer in Spain is well underway, meaning the festival season is upon us. Madrid has Mad Cool, Seville is gearing up for Nocturama, while Barcelona’s Primavera has been and gone. But if you’re heading to Valencia for Benicassim, you might want to consider staying on for a few weeks for one of the world’s most unusual festivals: La Tomatina. The festival in Bunol in celebration of the humble tomato is basically just one big food fight. It all started in 1945 when crowds at a parade accidentally overturned a vegetable cart – and the first tomato was thrown.

The good news for festival-goers is that nearby Valencia has some of the best 4G availability in Spain, with two of the country’s national operators scoring over 90% in our latest State of Mobile Networks report. But just be sure to keep the tomatoes out of your phone.

Spain TomatinaPhoto by flydime on Flickr

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Explaining the huge gap between fastest and slowest 4G upload speeds in the US

With our summer U.S. report around the corner, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight a metric that will feature in OpenSignal’s U.S. reports going forward. That metric is upload speed, and it’s becoming an increasingly important measure of the consumer mobile data experience. When the 4G age dawned, download speed was king as it determined how quickly we could surf the internet and the quality of mobile video. But as social media has boomed, we’re no longer a society of content consumers; we’ve become content creators. And when it comes to sharing the selfies we snap and the videos we record, the ability to send large quantities of data upstream assumes paramount status.

We decided to take a first look at how the four nationwide operators in the U.S. compared in 4G upload speed, drawing on our most recent 90-day test period from March to May. What we found was a bit surprising. In any of our speed metrics we typically see a gap between the fastest and slowest scores, but in the case of U.S. operator 4G upload speed that gap was particularly wide.

T-Mobile users racked up the fastest LTE upload speed results, averaging 7.5 Mbps, which was three times faster than the 2.5 Mbps average we measured for Sprint users. Verizon came in right behind T-Mobile in our measurements with a score of 7 Mbps, while AT&T was 3 Mbps off the leader with an average 4G upload of 4.5 Mbps in our tests.

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AT&T looks to content as Verizon signals a shift to 5G

The approval of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner signals big changes in the US telecoms market. AT&T gains access to Time Warner’s huge content library, including TV and movie giants HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT and Warner Bros. This content will undoubtedly boost AT&T’s bundled offering, and the operator has indicated it could find its way to mobile screens via its DirecTV Now mobile app. Look out for 20-minute Game of Thrones mobile episodes on a device near you.

Verizon has been quiet on the ruling, but there are signs that AT&T’s key rival may be moving in a different direction. Verizon recently appointed former Ericsson man Hans Vestberg as their CEO, suggesting their future strategy may be focussed on developing superior mobile networks and 5G, as opposed to further major content acquisitions. Such a change in tack from Verizon would be in stark contrast to AT&T, who are focussed on the massive Time Warner media merger and seems to have been more quiet around their 5G announcements.

GoT

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OpenSignal highlights the incredible growth of 4G in India to future civil service leaders

Our most recent analysis of the India mobile market has shown the country’s networks are going from strength to strength as competition reaches fever pitch. This has meant that OpenSignal’s measurements, based on billions of measurements collected by over 700,000 devices in our latest State of Mobile Networks: India report, are more vital than ever in helping the country’s operators improve their mobile network user experience.

Reflecting the huge amount of interest in India mobile, OpenSignal’s Stefan Schoofs, Regional Vice President for Sales in EMEA and India, was recently invited to address a delegation from Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie (LBSNAA), the Indian government’s premier institution dedicated to training high potential civil servants. The delegation hosted by the Civil Servants College was particularly keen to learn about the importance of continually measuring user experience on mobile networks, and the way that we at OpenSignal collect it through real-world measurements.

The delegation was also interested in our methodology and how we calculate our metrics and awards, as well as our experience of being in Tech Nation’s Future Fifty current cohort.

Stefan2

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