The State of Group Video Calling Experience – Europe, Middle East and Africa

While businesses and individual users widely used video conferencing apps and services before the COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown and social distancing measures implemented by governments worldwide have driven the demand for this type of service even more. Organizing meetings over popular video conferencing apps has facilitated remote working and education — but it also has helped people to stay connected with their friends and families during these tough times. Unfortunately, with several users attending a call and with multiple video feeds enabled, the quality of services oftentimes may deteriorate dramatically, to the point of barely audible and visible video transmissions. 

Popular mobile communication apps typically display between two and eight users on a group video call using a smartphone. Opensignal’s Group Video Calling Experience metric reflects this real-world usage. For example, WhatsApp supports up to eight people on a group video call, raised from four early in 2020 as a response to the pandemic; Zoom displays four video streams at once on a smartphone; Line supports four people on a video call; WeChat supports nine; Microsoft Teams displays eight video streams on a smartphone; and Facetime dynamically resizes windows to display around 6-8 people at once, although up to 32 can be on the call.

Opensignal’s Group Video Calling Experience measures the proportion of video calls where all users had at least an adequate or better video conference experience. In simple terms, Group Video Calling Experience measures whether all users in a group video call – not just a small number of users – had both sufficient (or better) video and audio quality. It therefore takes into account that a poor experience for one or more users will impact all users on a conference call so having a consistent experience across all users on a group video call is important.

We have analyzed 30 countries in Europe and 18 in the Middle East and Africa in our first mobile Group Video Calling Experience report for the EMEA region. In Europe, the Netherlands turned out to be the unchallenged winner, with an astounding score of 92.4 points — and an impressive lead of at least 5.6 points over its European counterparts. Not only was this the highest score in the world, but also the Netherlands was the only country that passed the 90-point threshold across all the global regions that we analyzed. Many European markets’ scores are comparable with the APAC leaders for the mobile Group Video Calling Experience. Six European countries met or exceeded 85 points in our metric — i.e. Croatia, Norway, Denmark, Czech Republic, Belgium and Switzerland — while a further eight countries hit or surpassed the 80-point mark. Almost every European market in our sample scored at least 60 points for the Group Video Calling Experience.

We saw tough competition for mobile Group Video Calling Experience leadership in the Middle East and Africa region, with five countries ending in a statistical tie for the regional victory — United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Qatar, Tunisia and Oman. Their scores ranged from 64.3 to 77.1 — Saudi Arabia's upper confidence interval didn’t surpass the lower confidence intervals of UAE and Qatar. Five more countries from MENA crossed the 60-point threshold. With a score of 53.8, South Africa rated the highest out of all Sub-Saharan Africa countries in our sample — ahead of Nigeria, Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire.

At an operator level, several European mobile networks have crossed the impressive 90-point mark — all three Dutch operators (Vodafone, KPN and T-Mobile) were joined by HT from Croatia, Vodafone from Czech Republic and Telia from Denmark. In the Middle East and Africa, Etisalat from UAE and Ooredoo from Qatar scored more than 80 points for Group Video Calling Experience. Below are the results for all the operators in the EMEA countries we have analyzed in this report and how they deliver on the mobile video group calling experience. 

The future of Group Video Calling

Group Video Calling Experience uses measurements from Opensignal’s real-world video tests and our voice app calling tests. To calculate Group Video Calling Experience, we consider a range of scenarios that reflect typical numbers of call participants displayed during a smartphone video call – two, four and eight participants – to represent the real-world mobile video conference experience. Group Video Calling Experience for each operator is measured on a scale from 0 to 100.

As the world continues to change, the activities everyone has embraced during 2020 and 2021 will likely remain a part of people’s lives. Group video chats and video conferences existed before COVID-19 but now they are a mainstream part of everyone’s life. Opensignal’s Group Video Calling Experience metric provides an essential guide to the mobile network experience of people across countries and also across mobile operators.

Opensignal’s first set of Group Video Calling Experience Awards 

Below is a set of charts comparing the Group Video Calling Experience of operators for selected countries across Europe:

View and download operator results for each market in Europe

Below is a set of charts comparing the Group Video Calling Experience of operators for selected countries across the Middle East and Africa:

View and download operator results for each market in Middle East and Africa

We have also published analysis of Group Video Calling in other parts of the world: