State of Mobile Networks: Colombia (July 2018)

Competition is building nicely in Colombia's mobile scene, as we're seeing less light between the operators in many of our metrics since OpenSignal's Mobile Networks Update report on the country six months ago. Our latest data shows Tigo is the star performer in our speed categories, but Movistar won our 4G availability crown, while Claro was not far behind its rivals. Drawing on 644 million data samples collected by 53,800 OpenSignal users between March 1 and May 29, 2018, this report takes a fresh look at Colombia, examining the 3G and 4G performance of its three nationwide operators.

Report Facts

644,754,784
Measurements
53,833
Test Devices
2018-03-01 - 2018-05-29
Sample Period
Colombia
Report Location

Highlights

Tigo pulls ahead in 4G download speeds

Our 4G download speed crown went to Tigo, following a three-way draw in this category six months ago. Tigo's speed of 18.8 Mbps beat Claro's score of 17.6 Mbps and Movistar's 16.5 Mbps in our measurements.

A close-run race in our speed metrics

Tigo won our overall download speed category after drawing with Movistar six months ago, but the race remains tight as Claro is catching up. We recorded draws in this category at a regional level in both Bogota and Medellin. In our 3G download speed category Claro stole the lead from Tigo, while in 4G upload Tigo drew with Movistar.

Movistar passes the 70% milestone to win 4G availability

Movistar won our 4G availability category after drawing with Tigo six months ago. Movistar is the first to pass 70% in our measurements, while Tigo is closing in on this marker. Our results show LTE reach was much higher in Colombia's two largest cities where almost every operator had 4G availability scores of over 70%, while Tigo passed 80% in Bogota.

Competition growing with the rise of regional player Avantel

Metropolitan operator Avantel managed to tie with its larger rivals in four out of OpenSignal's eight awards in Colombia's two largest cities Bogota and Medellin. This is an impressive feat for the operator which only launched in 2014, and shows Avantel is serious about taking on the big guys.

Awards Table

Download Speed: 4G Download Speed: 3G Download Speed: Overall Upload Speed: 4G Latency: 4G Latency: 3G Availability: 4G

Claro

medal medal

Movistar

medal medal

Tigo

medal medal medal medal

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Performance by Metric

Download Speed: 4G

This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users.

Download Speed: 3G

This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on 3G connections as measured by OpenSignal users.

Download Speed: Overall

This metric shows the average download speed experienced by OpenSignal users across all of an operator's 3G and 4G networks. Overall speed doesn't just factor in 3G and LTE speeds, but also the availability of each network technology. Operators with lower LTE availability tend to have lower overall speeds because their customers spend more time connected to slower 3G networks.

Upload Speed: 4G

This metric shows the average upload speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users.

Latency: 4G

This metric shows the average latency for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users. Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.

Latency: 3G

This metric shows the average latency for each operator on 3G connections as measured by OpenSignal users. Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.

Availability: 4G

This metric shows the proportion of time OpenSignal users have an LTE connection available to them on each operator’s network. It's a measure of how often users can access a 4G network rather than a measure of geographic or population coverage.

Regional Performance

This chart shows the regional winners in each category OpenSignal measures. Click on the icons to see a more detailed graph showing each operator’s metrics in a particular region.

Legend: Claro Movistar Tigo Avantel
Region Download Speed: 4G Download Speed: Overall Latency: 4G Availability: 4G
Bogota
Medellin

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Analysis

We've seen a lot of changes in our awards table for Colombia since our most recent Mobile Networks Update report six months ago – which is almost always a sign of healthy competition in mobile. Tigo starred in our speed awards, pulling ahead of its rivals in both our 4G download and overall download categories, although Claro won our 3G download crown. But it was Movistar who sprinted ahead in our 4G availability metric, the first to pass the 70% milestone. We saw an impressive showing from regional player Avantel in our analysis of Colombia's two largest cities.

In our third report on Colombia, we parsed more than 644 million data points collected from 53,833 mobile users between March 1 and May 29, 2018. We compared the 3G and 4G experience offered by Claro, Movistar and Tigo on the national level. We have also included an analysis of 4G download and overall speeds, 4G availability and 4G latency in Colombia's two biggest cities Bogota and Medellin, analyzing the performance of the three national operators plus Avantel.

Tigo pulls ahead in 4G download speeds

Tigo won our 4G download speed category, where we saw a three-way draw six months ago. Tigo's average speed was 18.8 Mbps in our measurements, although Claro and Movistar were not far behind with speeds of 17.6 Mbps and 16.5 Mbps respectively. The close race for 4G download speed dominance was mirrored in Colombia's two biggest cities, where Tigo drew with Claro in Bogota and we saw a three-way draw between the three national operators in Medellin.

Tigo has also taken the lead in our overall download speed metric, which factors in the combined speeds of operators' 3G and 4G networks and the level of access to each technology. After drawing with Movistar six months ago, Tigo pulled ahead of the pack with an average score of 10.5 Mbps, showing an impressive increase of over 2 Mbps. Third-placed Claro also increased its overall download speed by over 2 Mbps in our measurements, closing the gap on Movistar. The close race in this metric was again reflected in our cities analysis, where the three national operators drew in Medellin while Tigo drew with Avantel in Bogota.

Claro made an impressive sprint in our 3G download speed category to steal the title from Tigo. Claro increased its average 3G speed from 2.9 Mbps to 3.5 Mbps. Tigo's speed stayed virtually stagnant at 3.1 Mbps while Movistar's speed actually dropped incrementally to 2.1 Mbps in our tests.

Movistar breaks the 70% 4G availability threshold

Movistar took the lead in 4G availability, winning our award with a score of 71.8% – the first time we have seen a Colombian operator pass the 70% milestone. Movistar drew in this category with Tigo six months previous, but Movistar grew its LTE reach by over 3 percentage points while Tigo's 4G availability score increased incrementally to 69.5%. Claro remains some way behind with 64.7% 4G availability in our measurements. Our 4G availability scores were much closer in Colombia's cities, with a three-way tie in Bogota and two operators drawing in Medellin. Our measurements showed 4G availability was much higher in the cities, with nearly every operator passing the 70% threshold. Our most recent global State of LTE report saw Colombia firmly in the bottom half of the 4G availability table with a national score of 65.5%.

The key success story in our analysis of Colombia's two largest cities has been Avantel. The regional operator, which launched commercial services in Colombia in 2014, managed to tie with its larger rivals in four out of the eight regional awards, including an impressive 4G availability score in Bogota of 79.5%. Avantel is aiming for a 10% share of the Colombian market, with a low-cost price strategy targeting millennials. But its rivals aren't resting on their laurels, with Claro, Movistar and Tigo all rolling out LTE-Advanced network technology in hundreds of municipalities. Meanwhile the Colombian regulator is finally taking action to move forward with the delayed mobile licence auction in the 700 MHz bands, which will provide a serious boost to network capacities.

Our Methodology

OpenSignal measures the real-world experience of consumers on mobile networks as they go about their daily lives. We collect 3 billion individual measurements every day from tens of millions of smartphones worldwide.

Our measurements are collected at all hours of the day, every day of the year, under conditions of normal usage, including inside buildings and outdoors, in cities and the countryside, and everywhere in between. By analyzing on-device measurements recorded in the places where subscribers actually live, work and travel, we report on mobile network service the way users truly experience it.

We continually adapt our methodology to best represent the changing experience of consumers on mobile networks and, therefore, comparisons of the results to past reports should be considered indicative only. For more information on how we collect and analyze our data, see our methodology page.

For this particular report, 644,754,784 datapoints were collected from 53,833 users during the period: 2018-03-01 - 2018-05-29.

For every metric we've calculated statistical confidence intervals and plotted them on all of the graphs. When confidence intervals overlap for a certain metric, our measured results are too close to declare a winner in a particular category. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple operator winners.

©2018 OpenSignal, Inc. All rights reserved.

OpenSignal, Inc retains ownership of this report including all intellectual property rights, data, content, graphs & analysis. Reports produced by OpenSignal, Inc may not be quoted, reproduced, distributed, published for any commercial purpose (including use in advertisements or other promotional content) without prior written consent.

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