Our users in DACH markets enjoy a superior mobile network experience on 5G than on 4G

In this new analysis, Opensignal looked at our users’ 5G mobile network experience in DACH markets — Austria, Germany and Switzerland — across eight metrics. We observed a substantial 4G to 5G uplift across all three markets in the speed and experiential metrics. Switzerland scores the highest in 5G Peak Download Speed Experience, 5G Upload Speed, 5G Games Experience and 5G Reach out of all of the DACH markets, while Germany lagged behind its neighbors in some categories, such as 5G Download Speed and 5G Availability.

Our users across these three markets enjoyed significant improvements in all speed metrics when upgraded from 4G to 5G. For example, Austria saw the highest 4G to 5G uplift in download speeds — its average 5G download speeds were 4.1 times faster than on 4G, while Switzerland’s 4G to 5G uplift was 3.4 times and Germany’s — three times. The average 5G download speed in Germany clocked in at 138.3 Mbps — 37.7-44.1 Mbps behind what our users in Austria and Switzerland experienced.

Looking at Peak Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience, we also observed substantial uplifts on 5G technology. Users’ 5G Peak Download Speed in Austria was three times faster than 4G Peak Download Speed, compared to 2.8 times in Switzerland and 2.5 times in Germany. In terms of Upload Speed Experience, our users across all observed countries experienced similar uplifts of 2.3 times. Out of the three DACH markets, our users in Switzerland enjoyed the fastest peak download speeds and 5G upload speeds out of all DACH markets, as the country commanded sizable leads over its neighbors.

 

Turning to the experiential metrics — 5G Video Experience, 5G Games Experience and 5G Voice App Experience — we also saw improvements in 5G scores compared to 4G services across all DACH countries. In 4G Video Experience, Austria and Switzerland placed in the Very Good (65-75) category, while Germany rated Good (55-65). However, all markets saw sizable boosts in their 5G Video Experience scores — with our users in Germany enjoying the highest increase of 17.7 points and those in Austria and Switzerland — of 14.8 and 14 points, respectively. As a result, our users in Austria, Germany and Switzerland experienced Excellent (75 or above) video streaming, which means fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling.

In terms of 5G Games Experience — all DACH markets also observed improvements in their Games Experience scores, compared to the 4G mobile network experience, ranging from 3.9 points for Austria to 7.1 points for Switzerland. Austria and Switzerland placed in the Good (75-85) category in both 4G Games Experience and 5G Games Experience — while Germany moved up a category, from Fair (65-75) to Good. The Good rating means most users deemed the experience acceptable and saw no delay between their actions and the game. Switzerland’s 5G Games Experience score was the highest out of the three countries — and only 0.5 points below the Excellent (85 and above) rating. 

All DACH markets saw smaller boosts in their 5G Voice App Experience scores when shifting from 4G to 5G services compared to video or games metrics — in the 2.2-2.4 points range. However, as a result, Austria, Germany and Switzerland all moved up a category from Acceptable (74-80) in 4G Voice App Experience to Good (80-87) in 5G Voice App Experience. The Good rating means many users were satisfied but some experienced minor quality impairments — sometimes the background was not quite clear, and it could have been either hazy or not loud enough.

We also looked at two measures of the extent of 5G networks. In terms of 5G Availability, our users in Austria and Switzerland connected to 5G services for 13.4-14.7% of the time. In the other 5G extent metric — 5G Reach — Switzerland is in the lead with a score of 5.3 points on a 10-point scale, which means that our users in this market connected to 5G services in more than five out​​ of 10 locations they visited on average.

Our users in DACH markets enjoy an improved mobile network experience thanks to 5G

Opensignal data shows that our users in DACH markets observed a significant boost to their mobile network experience when they connected to 5G than to 4G networks. We previously analyzed the effect of 5G on improved mobile network experience on German highways. 5G technology will play an even bigger role in DACH markets, as national operators continue deploying their 5G infrastructure, both Non-Standalone and Standalone.

Compared to other global markets in the latest  Benchmarking the Global 5G Experience analysis published in June 2022, DACH countries are among global leaders across several metrics. Switzerland made it into the top 15 global markets for 5G Upload Speed and 5G Reach, while Austria — 5G Voice App Experience. On top of this, all three observed markets were among the top 15 global leaders for 5G Video Experience and 5G Games Experience. 

However, neither of them made it to the top 15 global markets for 5G Download Speed and 5G Peak Download Speed. Switzerland has imposed tight regulations on mobile network electromagnetic emissions, which mobile operators mitigate with a costly extensive infrastructure densification strategy and spectrum sharing. Meanwhile, German operators had limited access to the 3.5 GHz band until the end of 2021 (despite winning their licenses in 2019 in a spectrum auction), due to existing regional licenses in place and the 3700-3800 MHz range being reserved for regional assignments until 2040. Because of this, German carriers had to initially re-use their existing spectrum and resort to deploying 5G services in lower spectrum bands, like 700 MHz, 1800 MHz or 2100 MHz, on top of their  3.5 GHz roll-outs — especially outside highly populated urban areas.