Videoconferencing as a service has grown in importance ever since the COVID lockdown measures forced all citizens to stay at home and avoid face-to-face encounters. Suddenly, many aspects of our lives, such as work, education and social interactions, started to rely heavily on internet connectivity — but the experience hasn’t always been as smooth as it should be, especially with multiple video feeds involved. Resilient videoconferencing services for individual and business subscribers will remain key even after the pandemic, should businesses stick to more flexible rules for remote working.
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 re-sizes 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 measured country scores for 19 countries and territories in our first Group Video Calling Experience analysis in North America and Latin America. Our users across the Americas experience the best quality of group video calling over mobile networks in Argentina and Uruguay. Both countries are in a statistical tie for the lead in the Americas, with scores of 76.9 and 75.6 respectively. Meanwhile, Canada reached a score of 75.1 and is the undisputed leader in North America — and just right behind both its South American counterparts.
Three other countries have crossed the 70-point threshold as well — the U.S., Puerto Rico and Mexico. Brazil and Guatemala scored more than 60 points. With a score of 60.6, Guatemala is in a statistical tie with Costa Rica as leaders in Group Video Calling Experience in Central America. Noteworthy, more than half of the countries in our sample — 10 out of 19 — rated between 40 and 60 points. Our users in North America enjoyed better Group Video Calling Experience in general, while South American countries — with a few exceptions — generally scored better than Central American markets.
Among operators, Uruguay’s Claro and Movistar along with Personal from Argentina have crossed the 80-point mark. Six more operators in the region have surpassed the 75-point threshold — Bell and Telus from Canada; AT&T and T-Mobile from the U.S.; Telcel from Mexico and Claro from Argentina. Below are results for all the operators in the Americas 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 the Americas:
We have also published analysis of Group Video Calling in other parts of the world:
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