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Egyptians have a better experience in Cairo compared to the rest of the country

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In this new Opensignal analysis we have looked at our users’ mobile experience both in Cairo and throughout the rest of Egypt. Comparing the two, users in Cairo enjoy a quicker experience, with Download Speed Experience clocking in at 21.1% faster and Upload Speed Experience sitting at a sizable 31.1% lead, but this is not equal for all operators. Alongside faster speeds, users have a better experience streaming video in Cairo, rating a category higher than those outside the city. Users connect to 4G networks considerably more in Cairo, which will likely drive the enhanced experience that our users receive.


However, when comparing average download speeds in Cairo to the rest of the country across operators there is a large range of results. Orange has the largest experience gap, where the surrounding regions score 30.1% lower than Cairo. However, our Etisalat users see no significant difference in experience at all between Cairo and the rest of Egypt.

Our users in Cairo see a significantly faster Download Speed Experience than those in the rest of Egypt. Their score of 18.9Mbps is 21.1% faster than that of users outside of the city. The disparity in speed is even more apparent for upload speed — Cairo scores 6.7Mbps for Upload Speed Experience, 31.1% higher than the rest of the country.


In addition to faster speeds, our users in Cairo also have a better experience when streaming video. Users in Cairo score 58.9 points for Video Experience on a 100-point scale — 5.6 points above users in the rest of Egypt. With these scores, the overall quality of experience while streaming mobile videos rates Good (58-68) for users in Cairo, while outside of the city the video experience places one category lower, as Fair (48-58).


One factor that contributes to the difference between Cairo and other regions in the country is the amount of time users spend connected to 4G networks. Overall Availability — proportion of time connected to a cellular signal, 3G or higher — shows only a slight difference when comparing Cairo to the rest of Egypt, with Cairo scoring 1.9 percentage points higher. But looking at the proportion of time our users spend with a 4G signal, Cairo pulls further ahead. The city scores 83.2%, a 6.8 percentage point increase. This helps to explain why the experience is superior in the city, as users spending more time connected to 4G means that they benefit more from the improvements it brings.



Breaking down the Download Speed Experience analysis for the four major mobile operators in Egypt — Orange, Vodafone, Etisalat and WE — we see stark differences between the experience on each network. Orange has the largest relative gap, with Cairo’s 18.2Mbps towering over the score of 12.7Mbps for the rest of the country — a 30.1% decrease in users’ average download speeds. Vodafone and WE see smaller falls in user speeds of 19% and 12.7%, respectively. On the other hand, Etisalat users see no significant difference at all, its score in Cairo of 18.6Mbps is statistically level with its score of 18.1Mbps for the rest of Egypt.


Cairo has a clear mobile network experience advantage compared to the rest of Egypt. The ability to connect to 4G more of the time allows for faster overall average speeds and a better experience. Improvements in infrastructure will change this relationship. However, bridging this divide is not only a technical obstacle but also an economic one. Typically, operators prioritize enhancing their infrastructure and capacity in urban regions with high population densities, enabling them to reach a considerable portion of their potential customer base in relatively small areas.