Mobile Network Experience Report Japan April 2019

Japan

Mobile Network Experience Report
April 2019

Opensignal Active Userbase in Japan
Total Devices
206,546
Total Measurements
1,445,597,653
Data Collection Period
Dec 01 Feb 28, 2019

Opensignal is the independent global standard for analyzing consumer mobile experience. Our industry reports are the definitive guide to understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.

Author
Kevin Fitchard Principal Analyst

Summary

When it comes to creating an omnipresent 4G network, few countries have done a better job than Japan. With a country-wide 4G Availability greater than 95%, there are few situations where a 4G connection is inaccessible. 3G has become practically a non-factor in the country, so in our first look at Japan we find that the overall mobile experience is nearly identical to the experience consumers see over 4G networks. Though all three of Japan's national operators scored highly in nearly every single one of our metrics, each category had a standout. KDDI's au shone brightly in both 4G Availability and Download Speed Experience, while SoftBank won awards in our Video, Upload Speed and Latency Experience categories. As Japan readies itself for 5G, the country can rest assured that its 4G foundation is rock solid.

Mobile Experience Awards April 2019, Japan Report
4G Availability
Video Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
Download Image
Mobile Experience Awards Winners
April 2019, Japan
4G Availability
Video Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
Download Image

Key findings

4G services in Japan are pervasive

Japan's mobile consumers aren't lacking for LTE connections. All of Japan's national operators had 4G Availability scores greater than 90%, and two, NTT DoCoMo and au, had scores above the 95% mark. au emerged as the winner in 4G Availability, but for all operators, the instances our users were unable to find a 4G signal were rare indeed. As 4G Availability is so high in Japan, the role of 3G is severely minimized, and we see only the most incremental differences between our 4G scores and overall experience scores in each metric category.

DoComo and SoftBank are closing in on 10 Mbps upload speeds

SoftBank won our Upload Speed Experience award with an average connection of 9.7 Mbps, but NTT DoCoMo was close behind with an average of 9.5 Mbps. Both operators are on the verge of crossing the 10 Mbps milestone in Upload Speed Experience, an increasingly important metric as consumer usage patterns change. Social media and more powerful smartphones are producing a shift from content consumption to content creation, which will only benefit from more symmetrical mobile data connections.

SoftBank leads in Video Experience

All three of Japan's major operators garnered Very Good scores in our Video Experience measurements, but SoftBank stood out from the pack. Its overall Video Experience score of 71.1 was more than four points ahead of both of its competitors' scores, indicating our users experienced shorter video load times and less frequent interruptions on SoftBank connections.

au wins our Download Speed Experience award easily

30+ Mbps connections are the norm in Japan when it comes to average download speeds, but au managed to push those speed boundaries even further. au had a Download Speed Experience score of 37.8 Mbps, more than 5 Mbps faster than its two competitors' scores.

SoftBank is well clear of its rivals in Latency Experience

SoftBank completed its trifecta of wins with our Latency Experience award. Its overall network response time of 40.8 ms was more than nearly 7 milliseconds better than either of its rivals' Latency Experience scores in our analysis.

National Analysis

4G Availability

4G Availability
in %
NTT DoCoMo
96.2
SoftBank
94.1
au
96.8
0 25 50 75 100
Download Image

Video Experience

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
NTT DoCoMo
66.6
SoftBank
71.1
au
66.8
0 18.75 37.5 56.25 75
Download Image
Video Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Video Experience
67.5 (± 0.36) 72.5 (± 0.59) 67.3 (± 0.53)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
68 (± 0.36)
73 (± 0.59)
67 (± 0.53)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Download Speed Experience

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
NTT DoCoMo
31.9
SoftBank
32.0
au
37.8
0 10 20 30 40
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
32.9 (± 0.36) 34.0 (± 0.63) 38.4 (± 0.61)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.
4G Download Speed in Mbps
33 (± 0.36)
34 (± 0.63)
38 (± 0.61)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Upload Speed Experience

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
NTT DoCoMo
9.5
SoftBank
9.9
au
7.5
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
9.8 (± 0.11) 10.5 (± 0.25) 7.6 (± 0.16)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
10 (± 0.11)
11 (± 0.25)
8 (± 0.16)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Latency Experience

Latency Experience
in ms
NTT DoCoMo
48.7
SoftBank
40.8
au
47.2
0 12.5 25 37.5 50
Download Image
Latency Experience
Supporting Metrics
in ms
4G Latency
46.1 (± 0.20) 39.5 (± 0.39) 46.3 (± 0.24)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.
4G Latency in ms
46 (± 0.20)
40 (± 0.39)
46 (± 0.24)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.
Learn more

Opensignal measures the real-world experience of consumers on mobile networks in the places they live, work and travel.

We continually adapt our methodology to best represent the true experience of smartphone users. Therefore, comparisons of the results to past reports should be considered indicative only.

For every metric we calculate statistical confidence intervals indicated on our graphs. When confidence intervals overlap, our measured results are too close to declare a winner. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple winners.

In our bar graphs we represent confidence intervals as boundaries on either sides of graph bars. In our supporting-metric charts we show confidence intervals as +/- numerical values.

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For every metric we calculate statistical confidence intervals indicated on our graphs. When confidence intervals overlap, our measured results are too close to declare a winner. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple operator winners.

In our bar graphs we represent confidence intervals as boundaries on either sides of graph bars.

In our supporting-metric charts we show confidence intervals as +/- numerical values.

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