Mexico

Mobile Network Experience Report
April 2019

Opensignal Active Userbase in Mexico
Total Devices
647,219
Total Measurements
2,196,255,678
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

Key findings

Telcel wins our Video Experience award

Telcel led in our new Video Experience metric with a score of 60.3 out of 100. That put Telcel firmly in the Good range of our Video Experience scale, which means users experienced some video lag time before loading and interruptions during playback but was generally consistent at lower resolution. AT&T also earned a Good score, but Movistar was one category below with a Fair rating.

AT&T's download speed continues to fall

We measured another substantial drop in AT&T's Download Speed Experience, falling from 12.3 Mbps to 10.8 Mbps in the space of six months. AT&T was the leader in Download Speed Experience as recently as our April 2018 Mexico report, but ever since AT&T launched new low-cost unlimited prepaid plans its speeds have indirectly suffered. Telcel is now firmly at the top of our download speed rankings.

Operators hit big milestones in big cities

Major metro areas are usually where we first see the effects of investment from network upgrades, and we're starting to see signs of powerful, highly available networks in some of Mexico's largest cities. AT&T had 4G Availability scores above 90% in four cities, while in six cities, Telcel had Download Speed Experience scores greater than 20 Mbps.

AT&T maintains its lead in 4G Availability, but Telcel is gaining

Opensignal's users on AT&T's network were able to find a 4G signal 81.9% of the time, allowing it to claim our 4G Availability award for the third straight report. But AT&T's 4G Availability score has stayed relatively flat over the last six months, allowing Telcel to make up lost ground. Telcel is now within 2 percentage points of catching up to AT&T in this metric.

Introduction

In our latest look at Mexico's mobile market, it's hard to ignore the growing dominance of Telcel in our metrics. The incumbent mobile operator grabbed four of our five awards outright, and in the fifth, 4G Availability, Telcel is closing the gap with leader AT&T. Meanwhile AT&T continues to struggle in Download Speed Experience, a category it once led. Unless AT&T or Movistar can find a way to keep Telcel in check, América Móvil's flagship operator may soon extend its dominance to every single one of Opensignal's metrics.

Opensignal Awards Table

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

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
4G Availability
in %
Telcel
79.1
Movistar
72.4
AT&T
81.9
0 21.25 42.5 63.75 85
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

National Analysis

4G Availability

AT&T pulled off a big coup 12 months ago when it grabbed our 4G Availability award from massive incumbent Telcel, which had a three-year headstart over AT&T in its LTE rollout. But after its big surge forward in 4G Availability in 2017, AT&T's growth was relatively flat in 2018. The U.S.-owned operator's score of 81.9% was certainly enough to maintain its lead in our 4G Availability rankings, but Telcel has begun to make up lost ground. Since our last report, Telcel's 4G Availability score has improved by almost 2 percentage points to 79.1%, closing the gap with AT&T.

4G Availability
in %
Telcel
79.1
Movistar
72.4
AT&T
81.9
0 21.25 42.5 63.75 85
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

Movistar, however, has shown the biggest improvement in this metric. Its 4G Availability score jumped nearly 6 percentage points since our last report. This gain wasn't enough to overcome either of the two leaders, but Movistar is now above the 70% mark in this metric.

Video Experience

Telcel won the first of its many awards in this test period in our Video Experience category. Our Video Experience metric measures video quality streamed over mobile networks to devices, taking video load time, stalling rates and picture resolution into account. In our 100-point scale, Telcel had a score of 60.3, which falls into the Good range (55-65) of Video Experience. AT&T also garnered a Good rating with a score of 56.8, but Movistar landed in Fair, one category below Good, with a score of 47.6.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Telcel
60.3
Movistar
47.6
AT&T
56.8
Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Video Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Video Experience
74.4 (± 0.20) 69.3 (± 0.49) 63.3 (± 0.45)
3G Video Experience
34.6 (± 0.49) 24.6 (± 0.75) 36.2 (± 1.11)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
74 (± 0.20)
69 (± 0.49)
63 (± 0.45)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
35 (± 0.49)
25 (± 0.75)
36 (± 1.11)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

When we break down Video Experience by type of connection, we see some clear differences in the video capabilities of each operator's 4G service. Looking at 4G connections alone, Telcel's score was 74.4, a Very Good score (65-75) in our scale and less than a point shy of an Excellent rating. Our data shows that as long as Telcel customers have access to a 4G connection, they're getting an impressive level of video quality, characterized by short load times and minimal interruptions in playback even at higher resolutions.

Meanwhile, Movistar scored higher than AT&T in 4G Video Experience with a Very Good rating, even though AT&T came in second in our overall Video Experience rankings. While Movistar's LTE connections were providing our users with a superior 4G Video Experience in our analysis, AT&T's 4G network was more accessible, so our users were able to view video over 4G connections more often. That, along with AT&T's higher score in 3G Video Experience, pushed AT&T above Movistar in our overall Video Experience rankings.

Download Speed Experience

A year ago, AT&T was the award winner in Download Speed Experience in Mexico, but for the second report in a row, AT&T's download speeds have taken a substantial downturn, establishing Telcel as the leader in this metric. Last year, AT&T introduced new unlimited-4G-data prepaid plans under its Unefon brand for only 10 pesos a day in order to encourage more widespread use of its 4G services. In our results we separate Unefon users from AT&T Mexico's main postpaid customer base, so the measurements we collect from AT&T subscribers don't include measurements from devices on the new Unefon plans. But it's likely we're seeing an indirect impact on AT&T's overall 4G capacity due to these new prepaid plans. Typically when operators introduce unlimited data plans or reduce the price of data, it increases data usage and depresses speeds unless operators counteract that usage by building more network capacity. The success of AT&T's new Unefon plans could be boosting the average amount of data consumed per subscriber overall, eating up capacity for all users — prepaid and postpaid alike.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Telcel
16.8
Movistar
9.0
AT&T
10.8
0 5 10 15 20
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
24.2 (± 0.13) 15.5 (± 0.18) 13.2 (± 0.15)
3G Download Speed
3.3 (± 0.04) 2.1 (± 0.03) 3.4 (± 0.07)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
24 (± 0.13)
16 (± 0.18)
13 (± 0.15)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
3 (± 0.04)
2 (± 0.03)
3 (± 0.07)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Whatever the direct cause for the drop in speed, its magnitude is considerable. In the last 12 months, AT&T's Download Speed Experience has decreased 5.7 Mbps (34%), while its 4G Download Speed has fallen 8.5 Mbps (39%), according to our analysis. AT&T now has the slowest average 4G Download Speed in our measurements. It only surpasses Movistar in Download Speed Experience by virtue of its superior 4G Availability, according to our analysis. Meanwhile, Telcel is cementing its lead in our download categories, not by boosting its speeds but by maintaining the status quo. The more AT&T's speeds suffer in our metrics, the more entrenched Telcel becomes at the top of our rankings.

Upload Speed Experience

Telcel won our Upload Speed Experience award with an average connection of 7.5 Mbps. Meanwhile, the declines we're tracking in AT&T's Download Speed Experience scores didn't apply to upload. AT&T came in second in this category with an Upload Speed Experience score of 6.5 Mbps, while Movistar was relatively far behind the two leaders with a score of 4.2 Mbps.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Telcel
7.5
Movistar
4.2
AT&T
6.5
0 1.875 3.75 5.625 7.5
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
11.0 (± 0.08) 7.6 (± 0.13) 8.3 (± 0.11)
3G Upload Speed
1.1 (± 0.02) 0.6 (± 0.01) 0.9 (± 0.03)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
11 (± 0.08)
8 (± 0.13)
8 (± 0.11)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
1 (± 0.02)
1 (± 0.01)
1 (± 0.03)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

When we look at upload speed by technology, we find that the upstream capabilities of most of Mexico's 4G services to be quite powerful. Telcel's 4G Upload Speed score exceeded 10 Mbps, which is a significant milestone. Meanwhile, AT&T and Movistar's 4G Upload Speeds were about half that of their 4G Download Speed scores. We typically see a much bigger differential between upload and download on the same 4G network. Whatever download speed limitations Mexico's consumers might face, we're not seeing the same constraints on upload. That could become a key differentiator for Mexican operators as consumers begin to demand more symmetrical mobile data connections.

Latency Experience

Telcel's fourth win came in our Latency Experience category. It was well ahead of both its rivals with an average score of 62.1 milliseconds. That said, none of Mexico's operators had very impressive scores in our Latency Experience metric. Latency measures the response time of a network (the lower the score the better), and it's a key factor in determining how real-time communications and gaming applications perform on mobile connections. While operators in many countries are pushing Latency Experience scores down to 30ms or lower, Mexico's best Latency Experience average is double that.

Latency Experience
in ms The lower the figure the better the latency
Telcel
62.1
Movistar
70.3
AT&T
82.4
0 21.25 42.5 63.75 85
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Latency Experience
Supporting Metrics
in ms
4G Latency
51.9 (± 0.16) 52.8 (± 0.36) 70.6 (± 0.38)
3G Latency
80.9 (± 0.43) 88.9 (± 0.79) 119.0 (± 1.52)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Latency in ms
52 (± 0.16)
53 (± 0.36)
71 (± 0.38)
3G Latency in ms
81 (± 0.43)
89 (± 0.79)
119 (± 1.52)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Regional Analysis

The winners of our national awards weren't necessarily the prize-takers in our analysis of 13 cities in Mexico. AT&T won our 4G Availability award in seven cities, but in the remaining six cities, the award either went to a rival or was shared by two operators. Telcel's national Download Speed Experience win carried over to 11 of our 13 cities, but in Upload Speed Experience Telcel faced several regional battles with AT&T for our awards.

We did record some notably high scores in these cities, showing the level of network investment operators are making in urban areas. In Aguascalientes, León, Mérida and Querétaro, AT&T had 4G Availability scores above 90%, which is a truly impressive level of 4G access. Meanwhile, Telcel had Download Speed Experience scores above 20 Mbps in six cities: Guadalajara, Mérida, Monterrey, Querétaro, Tijuana and Toluca.

We also found Video Experience much improved in many cities from national levels. In every city except for León, Puebla and Veracruz, one operator had a Video Experience score in the Very Good range (65-75). And in almost every city, our measurements show operator'sVideo Experience scores were well above their national averages.

Select any region below to display individual breakdown

Aguascalientes

4G Availability
in Aguascalientes
in %
Telcel
79.6
Movistar
79.9
AT&T
90.7
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Video Experience
in Aguascalientes
in 0-100 points
Telcel
66.2
Movistar
61.2
AT&T
58.6
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Aguascalientes
in Mbps
Telcel
17.2
Movistar
12.8
AT&T
15.0
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Aguascalientes
in Mbps
Telcel
7.9
Movistar
5.7
AT&T
7.3
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Aguascalientes
in ms
Telcel
69.7
Movistar
60.0
AT&T
84.0
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Guadalajara

4G Availability
in Guadalajara
in %
Telcel
85.5
Movistar
85.3
AT&T
83.0
Download Image
Video Experience
in Guadalajara
in 0-100 points
Telcel
65.1
Movistar
59.4
AT&T
61.3
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Guadalajara
in Mbps
Telcel
21.2
Movistar
14.1
AT&T
12.1
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Upload Speed Experience
in Guadalajara
in Mbps
Telcel
9.7
Movistar
8.4
AT&T
7.5
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Latency Experience
in Guadalajara
in ms
Telcel
42.6
Movistar
49.7
AT&T
83.5
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Juárez

4G Availability
in Juárez
in %
Telcel
87.4
Movistar
88.6
AT&T
81.3
Download Image
Video Experience
in Juárez
in 0-100 points
Telcel
60.2
Movistar
57.4
AT&T
65.1
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Juárez
in Mbps
Telcel
16.1
Movistar
10.8
AT&T
14.9
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Juárez
in Mbps
Telcel
8.8
Movistar
4.9
AT&T
5.2
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Latency Experience
in Juárez
in ms
Telcel
104.0
Movistar
78.6
AT&T
82.0
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León

4G Availability
in León
in %
Telcel
76.8
Movistar
82.0
AT&T
93.2
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Video Experience
in León
in 0-100 points
Telcel
61.1
Movistar
50.1
AT&T
62.1
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Download Speed Experience
in León
in Mbps
Telcel
18.2
Movistar
10.2
AT&T
12.6
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Upload Speed Experience
in León
in Mbps
Telcel
7.1
Movistar
5.4
AT&T
8.9
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Latency Experience
in León
in ms
Telcel
69.8
Movistar
63.8
AT&T
85.7
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Mexico City

4G Availability
in Mexico City
in %
Telcel
85.8
Movistar
85.0
AT&T
79.4
Download Image
Video Experience
in Mexico City
in 0-100 points
Telcel
66.7
Movistar
56.4
AT&T
58.2
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Download Speed Experience
in Mexico City
in Mbps
Telcel
19.5
Movistar
12.4
AT&T
11.3
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Upload Speed Experience
in Mexico City
in Mbps
Telcel
7.0
Movistar
5.4
AT&T
6.9
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Latency Experience
in Mexico City
in ms
Telcel
57.7
Movistar
54.2
AT&T
67.2
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Monterrey

4G Availability
in Monterrey
in %
Telcel
89.4
Movistar
86.7
AT&T
82.9
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Video Experience
in Monterrey
in 0-100 points
Telcel
67.2
Movistar
55.0
AT&T
62.2
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Download Speed Experience
in Monterrey
in Mbps
Telcel
21.8
Movistar
11.3
AT&T
14.3
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Upload Speed Experience
in Monterrey
in Mbps
Telcel
9.7
Movistar
5.9
AT&T
8.7
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Latency Experience
in Monterrey
in ms
Telcel
41.4
Movistar
55.4
AT&T
63.9
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Mérida

4G Availability
in Mérida
in %
Telcel
87.2
Movistar
81.2
AT&T
90.4
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Video Experience
in Mérida
in 0-100 points
Telcel
68.0
Movistar
53.3
AT&T
60.9
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Download Speed Experience
in Mérida
in Mbps
Telcel
20.2
Movistar
10.4
AT&T
14.2
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Upload Speed Experience
in Mérida
in Mbps
Telcel
9.2
Movistar
4.5
AT&T
7.9
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Latency Experience
in Mérida
in ms
Telcel
43.5
Movistar
72.5
AT&T
95.9
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Puebla

4G Availability
in Puebla
in %
Telcel
80.7
Movistar
84.8
AT&T
88.9
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Video Experience
in Puebla
in 0-100 points
Telcel
59.5
Movistar
53.8
AT&T
52.0
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Download Speed Experience
in Puebla
in Mbps
Telcel
15.2
Movistar
8.3
AT&T
8.6
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Upload Speed Experience
in Puebla
in Mbps
Telcel
10.2
Movistar
4.7
AT&T
7.1
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Latency Experience
in Puebla
in ms
Telcel
48.4
Movistar
57.5
AT&T
81.1
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Querétaro

4G Availability
in Querétaro
in %
Telcel
82.8
Movistar
81.6
AT&T
91.7
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Video Experience
in Querétaro
in 0-100 points
Telcel
68.1
Movistar
58.4
AT&T
64.1
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Download Speed Experience
in Querétaro
in Mbps
Telcel
21.8
Movistar
14.0
AT&T
15.2
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Upload Speed Experience
in Querétaro
in Mbps
Telcel
9.2
Movistar
6.9
AT&T
10.0
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Latency Experience
in Querétaro
in ms
Telcel
58.9
Movistar
54.9
AT&T
86.0
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San Luis Potosí

4G Availability
in San Luis Potosí
in %
Telcel
80.9
Movistar
82.8
AT&T
89.8
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Video Experience
in San Luis Potosí
in 0-100 points
Telcel
65.2
Movistar
53.3
AT&T
57.8
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Download Speed Experience
in San Luis Potosí
in Mbps
Telcel
19.5
Movistar
12.3
AT&T
10.8
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Upload Speed Experience
in San Luis Potosí
in Mbps
Telcel
8.1
Movistar
5.3
AT&T
7.2
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Latency Experience
in San Luis Potosí
in ms
Telcel
87.2
Movistar
66.9
AT&T
72.8
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Tijuana

4G Availability
in Tijuana
in %
Telcel
87.7
Movistar
81.9
AT&T
89.6
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Video Experience
in Tijuana
in 0-100 points
Telcel
66.8
Movistar
54.1
AT&T
63.8
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Download Speed Experience
in Tijuana
in Mbps
Telcel
20.1
Movistar
7.8
AT&T
16.5
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Upload Speed Experience
in Tijuana
in Mbps
Telcel
9.6
Movistar
5.9
AT&T
5.7
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Latency Experience
in Tijuana
in ms
Telcel
43.3
Movistar
87.2
AT&T
43.5
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Toluca

4G Availability
in Toluca
in %
Telcel
84.6
Movistar
69.0
AT&T
89.0
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Video Experience
in Toluca
in 0-100 points
Telcel
68.3
Movistar
55.6
AT&T
55.0
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Download Speed Experience
in Toluca
in Mbps
Telcel
22.2
Movistar
11.2
AT&T
10.2
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Upload Speed Experience
in Toluca
in Mbps
Telcel
8.1
Movistar
6.3
AT&T
7.8
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Latency Experience
in Toluca
in ms
Telcel
60.0
Movistar
58.1
AT&T
83.2
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Veracruz

4G Availability
in Veracruz
in %
Telcel
82.6
Movistar
73.0
AT&T
88.8
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Video Experience
in Veracruz
in 0-100 points
Telcel
64.5
Movistar
51.5
AT&T
56.0
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Download Speed Experience
in Veracruz
in Mbps
Telcel
18.1
Movistar
9.1
AT&T
13.2
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Upload Speed Experience
in Veracruz
in Mbps
Telcel
11.1
Movistar
4.0
AT&T
7.5
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Latency Experience
in Veracruz
in ms
Telcel
50.7
Movistar
69.3
AT&T
84.8
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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.

Why confidence intervals are vital in analyzing mobile network experience

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