Italy

Mobile Network Experience Report
May 2019

Opensignal Active Userbase in Italy
Total Devices
339,189
Total Measurements
1,101,323,032
Data Collection Period
Jan 01 Mar 31, 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
Peter Boyland Senior Analyst

Key findings

Big rises in 4G Availability across Italy

Vodafone kept our 4G Availability award, with an increase of nearly 5 percentage points to reach 86.9%. All five of Italy's national operators saw significant increases in their 4G Availability scores, with newcomer Iliad showing the biggest increase of nearly 10 percentage points.

Iliad's success means improving mobile network experience is crucial

New entrant Iliad has gained close to 3 million users since its launch a year ago, and it's catching up with its closest rivals in many of our metrics. This fresh competition means it’s more vital than ever that Italy's operators highlight their ability to provide a great mobile network experience and the value they offer consumers — even if they can't beat Iliad on price.

TIM grabs our Download Speed Experience crown from Vodafone

TIM increased its Download Speed Experience score by 8% to overtake Vodafone, which saw little change in its score over the past six months. But Italy's other three operators 3, Iliad and Wind all saw double-digit percentage increases in their scores to close the gap on the leaders.

Italy's mobile Video Experience shows big improvements

TIM kept hold of our Video Experience award, as all five operators showed improvements of at least 8% in their scores. Both TIM and Vodafone's scores are now in our Very Good category, meaning a mobile Video Experience characterized by short load times and infrequent stalling, even at higher resolutions.

Italy's cities show the country is on the verge of mobile maturity

We saw some impressive scores in Italy's biggest cities, with 4G Availability over 90% for at least one operator in most of the seven metros we analyzed, while three cities had Excellent Video Experience ratings and two had Download Speed Experience scores over 40 Mbps. We expect to see similar scores at a national level soon, as Italy comes close to joining an elite group of countries in mobile network experience.

Introduction

Over the past couple of years we've seen something of a two-horse race develop in the Italian mobile network experience. But our latest analysis shows one operator has emerged as a market leader. TIM has won four out of five of our national awards in this report, including an impressive sprint in Download Speed Experience to steal the glory from Vodafone. But we've seen some encouraging improvements across many of our metrics from all of Italy's operators — particularly from new-kid-on-the-block Iliad, which has rapidly established itself as a strong competitor.

For this report we've analyzed the mobile experience in Italy over the 90 days from the start of January 2019 for the five national operators 3 Italia, Iliad, TIM, Vodafone and Wind, at a national level as well as in Italy's seven largest cities.

The merger of 3 Italia and Wind was approved in 2016, but the two brands continue to market services separately so we will treat them as two individual operators in this report. However, any reduction in competition levels from the consolidation of Wind Tre has been effectively cancelled out by the entry of Iliad, which has disrupted the market with its low-cost, no frills offerings, amassing an impressive 2.8 million subscribers since its launch just under a year ago.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Italy
May 2019, Italy Report
4G Availability
Video Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
Download Image
Mobile Experience Awards Winners
May 2019, Italy
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
% of time
Vodafone
86.9
Wind
75.7
3 ITA
65.1
TIM
83.6
Iliad
76.4
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

National Analysis

4G Availability

Vodafone held onto our 4G Availability award, increasing its score by just under 5 percentage points since our last report. But this increase was actually the smallest of all Italy's five national operators in our measurements. Both 3 and Wind grew their 4G Availability scores by close to 7 percentage points, and new player Iliad showed the most impressive increase of nearly 10 points.

4G Availability
% of time
Vodafone
86.9
Wind
75.7
3 ITA
65.1
TIM
83.6
Iliad
76.4
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

4G Availability is on the up in Italy. Vodafone has passed the 85% mark while the country now has four operators with scores over 75%. As LTE becomes more ubiquitous, the country is turning its attention to 5G. Following last year's 5G spectrum auction, TIM and Vodafone have announced a limited 5G network-sharing deal, as TIM plans a commercial launch before the end of 2019. The merged Wind Tre also plans to launch 5G this year (although it has provided few details so far), while newcomer Iliad is starting to prepare its network for the next generation of mobile technology.

Video Experience

TIM managed to hold onto our Video Experience award — but only just. There was less than 1 point separating TIM's score of 69.9 (out of 100) and Vodafone's 69.1, after Vodafone saw its score jump by over 14% since our last look at Video Experience in Italy. TIM also saw its score increase by close to 9% in the past six months, as both operators moved up to a Very Good rating, which is characterized by video streamed to smartphones experiencing short load times and infrequent stalling, even at higher resolutions.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Vodafone
69.1
Wind
59.9
3 ITA
60.3
TIM
69.9
Iliad
58.2
Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Video Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Video Experience
71.8 (± 0.28) 66.4 (± 0.38) 69.5 (± 0.46) 73.2 (± 0.26) 62.9 (± 0.38)
3G Video Experience
53.3 (± 0.90) 44.7 (± 0.84) 48.3 (± 0.84) 54.6 (± 0.86) 45.0 (± 0.85)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
72 (± 0.28)
66 (± 0.38)
69 (± 0.46)
73 (± 0.26)
63 (± 0.38)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
53 (± 0.90)
45 (± 0.84)
48 (± 0.84)
55 (± 0.86)
45 (± 0.85)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

We've seen the greatest increases in Video Experience among 3's and Wind's users, with a jump of 18% and 23% in the past 6 months respectively as they close the gap on leaders TIM and Vodafone. There was barely 2 points separating 3, Iliad and Wind, with all three scoring around 60 (out of 100). Those three operators were nearly 9 points behind TIM and Vodafone with scores in our Good rating bracket, meaning a less consistent Video Experience, especially at higher resolutions.

Italy hasn't fared quite so well in Video Experience compared with its European neighbours. In our European analysis in the autumn, Italy was close to the bottom of the table, behind much smaller markets including Serbia and Greece. And when we recently compared Video Load Times in Europe's rugby capitals in honor of the 6 Nations championship, Rome was well into the lower half of the table (although it did beat Paris and London). But Video Experience in Italy is showing some encouraging signs of improvement across all five of the country's operators.

Download Speed Experience

We saw the most impressive win of this report in our Download Speed Experience metric, as TIM stormed into the lead to grab the glory from Vodafone. TIM put in an impressive sprint of 2 Mbps to overtake Vodafone, whose own Download Speed Experience score has stayed almost unchanged over the past six months. But competition between the two remains high, with less than 1 Mbps separating their scores in our measurements.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Vodafone
24.8
Wind
15.6
3 ITA
15.1
TIM
25.7
Iliad
16.3
0 7.5 15 22.5 30
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
28.3 (± 0.26) 20.0 (± 0.23) 21.6 (± 0.29) 29.6 (± 0.26) 20.1 (± 0.23)
3G Download Speed
5.0 (± 0.09) 5.4 (± 0.09) 6.6 (± 0.10) 7.3 (± 0.13) 5.7 (± 0.09)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
28 (± 0.26)
20 (± 0.23)
22 (± 0.29)
30 (± 0.26)
20 (± 0.23)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
5 (± 0.09)
5 (± 0.09)
7 (± 0.10)
7 (± 0.13)
6 (± 0.09)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

While notable, TIM's leapfrog wasn't the highest increase we saw in our Download Speed Experience scores. Wind boosted its score by an impressive 32%, while Iliad's total rose by 25% and 3's grew by 12%. In our last report we saw two distinct tiers of download speed in Italy, with the lower three operators' scores barely half that of the two leaders TIM and Vodafone. 3, Iliad and Wind remain some way behind the top two — but they are closing the gap as the disparity in Download Speed Experience among Italy's operators abates.

TIM also topped our 4G Download Speed table, as Vodafone's score actually fell slightly since our last report. An incremental increase in TIM's score saw it overtake Vodafone in both our 4G Download Speed and overall Download Speed Experience measurements, despite Vodafone's slight advantage in 4G Availability.

Upload Speed Experience

TIM won our Upload Speed Experience race by a nose, with a score of 8.6 Mbps narrowly beating Vodafone's 8.4 Mbps. Italy's other three operators were some way behind the leaders, with 3, Iliad and Wind's scores all falling in the 6-7 Mbps bracket.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Vodafone
8.4
Wind
6.8
3 ITA
6.1
TIM
8.6
Iliad
6.0
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
9.6 (± 0.11) 9.2 (± 0.10) 9.6 (± 0.13) 10.1 (± 0.11) 7.8 (± 0.10)
3G Upload Speed
1.3 (± 0.04) 1.3 (± 0.03) 1.6 (± 0.03) 1.6 (± 0.04) 1.2 (± 0.03)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
10 (± 0.11)
9 (± 0.10)
10 (± 0.13)
10 (± 0.11)
8 (± 0.10)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
1 (± 0.04)
1 (± 0.03)
2 (± 0.03)
2 (± 0.04)
1 (± 0.03)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

TIM also led in our 4G Upload Speed metric, increasing its score by 8% in the last six months to pass the 10 Mbps mark. Once again, we saw little growth from Vodafone in 4G Upload Speed measurements, while Wind saw the greatest increase of over 1 Mbps.

Latency Experience

TIM won our Latency Experience award with a slightly more comfortable margin than we saw in our speed and video categories. Its score was over 7% better than its closest rival Vodafone, while the other three operators were some way behind the two leaders. In fact, we saw three distinct groups in Latency Experience: TIM and Vodafone scored around the 40 millisecond mark; 3 and Wind were close to 60ms, while Iliad was even further behind on 76ms.

Latency Experience
in ms The lower the figure the better the latency
Vodafone
42.5
Wind
58.1
3 ITA
63.2
TIM
39.7
Iliad
76.0
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Latency Experience
Supporting Metrics
in ms
4G Latency
39.9 (± 0.18) 50.9 (± 0.23) 58.1 (± 0.29) 36.7 (± 0.17) 71.6 (± 0.19)
3G Latency
57.6 (± 0.74) 74.8 (± 0.68) 69.8 (± 0.53) 53.4 (± 0.58) 88.4 (± 0.61)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Latency in ms
40 (± 0.18)
51 (± 0.23)
58 (± 0.29)
37 (± 0.17)
72 (± 0.19)
3G Latency in ms
58 (± 0.74)
75 (± 0.68)
70 (± 0.53)
53 (± 0.58)
88 (± 0.61)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2019 | © Opensignal Inc.

Latency is essentially a measure of network responsiveness — meaning the lower the score, the better. Often ignored in favor of our more headline-grabbing speed and availability metrics, latency is becoming increasingly important as smartphones and data connections become ubiquitous and user habits change. Good latency is key to a host of mobile applications and services, from web browsing to voice over IP to real-time multiplayer gaming.

Regional Analysis

The race for 4G Availability is heating up at the national level, and this was definitely reflected in Italy's cities. Of the seven metropoles we analyzed, we recorded draws in every one except Rome (which was won by Vodafone). We also recorded 4G Availability scores of over 90% on at least one operator's network in five out of the seven cities — with Milan worthy of a special mention, as four operators have passed the 90% milestone in the fashion capital.

We saw a similarly close race in Download Speed Experience in Italy's biggest cities, as the spoils were shared between the two leaders. Both TIM and Vodafone won in two cities each, while we saw ties in the remaining three. The two operators both passed the 40 Mbps Download Speed Experience milestone in Bologna, but the highest average speed we recorded was a hugely impressive 43.7 Mbps on TIM's network in Turin.

TIM's dominance in Latency Experience at a national level carried over into Italy's cities, as the operator came top in six out of seven, drawing with Vodafone in Turin. But TIM has yet to crack the 30ms milestone in Latency Experience, despite coming within 0.1ms of this mark in Milan. And TIM led the pack in Video Experience, coming top in Bologna, Milan and Turin, and passing the 75 point mark in all three cities to gain an Excellent rating.

Select any region below to display individual breakdown

Bologna

4G Availability
in Bologna
in %
Vodafone
92.4
Wind
90.1
3 ITA
73.6
TIM
88.1
Iliad
89.3
Download Image
Video Experience
in Bologna
in 0-100 points
Vodafone
71.3
Wind
69.2
3 ITA
68.0
TIM
75.3
Iliad
61.4
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Bologna
in Mbps
Vodafone
40.0
Wind
30.4
3 ITA
24.5
TIM
40.9
Iliad
35.2
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Bologna
in Mbps
Vodafone
13.5
Wind
13.9
3 ITA
9.7
TIM
12.9
Iliad
12.3
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Bologna
in ms
Vodafone
36.6
Wind
41.5
3 ITA
56.5
TIM
31.9
Iliad
68.0
Download Image

Genoa

4G Availability
in Genoa
in %
Vodafone
90.5
Wind
73.8
3 ITA
56.0
TIM
87.7
Iliad
70.7
Download Image
Video Experience
in Genoa
in 0-100 points
Vodafone
70.1
Wind
61.2
3 ITA
59.2
TIM
73.1
Iliad
50.1
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Genoa
in Mbps
Vodafone
28.7
Wind
8.8
3 ITA
11.1
TIM
32.1
Iliad
8.2
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Genoa
in Mbps
Vodafone
10.2
Wind
6.4
3 ITA
5.5
TIM
11.2
Iliad
4.1
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Genoa
in ms
Vodafone
38.8
Wind
49.7
3 ITA
54.8
TIM
35.0
Iliad
75.3
Download Image

Milan

4G Availability
in Milan
in %
Vodafone
92.7
Wind
91.4
3 ITA
79.9
TIM
91.3
Iliad
90.1
Download Image
Video Experience
in Milan
in 0-100 points
Vodafone
71.0
Wind
66.4
3 ITA
66.1
TIM
76.0
Iliad
65.4
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Milan
in Mbps
Vodafone
33.4
Wind
24.2
3 ITA
25.6
TIM
36.8
Iliad
25.2
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Milan
in Mbps
Vodafone
12.8
Wind
12.5
3 ITA
11.9
TIM
13.3
Iliad
10.6
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Milan
in ms
Vodafone
33.3
Wind
42.1
3 ITA
56.9
TIM
30.1
Iliad
66.7
Download Image

Naples

4G Availability
in Naples
in %
Vodafone
88.2
Wind
75.0
3 ITA
69.2
TIM
87.7
Iliad
78.3
Download Image
Video Experience
in Naples
in 0-100 points
Vodafone
66.7
Wind
59.7
3 ITA
57.1
TIM
68.9
Iliad
53.5
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Naples
in Mbps
Vodafone
23.9
Wind
13.5
3 ITA
12.5
TIM
23.5
Iliad
13.8
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Naples
in Mbps
Vodafone
8.6
Wind
6.6
3 ITA
6.4
TIM
8.5
Iliad
6.3
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Naples
in ms
Vodafone
46.4
Wind
54.8
3 ITA
58.0
TIM
36.3
Iliad
68.6
Download Image

Palermo

4G Availability
in Palermo
in %
Vodafone
90.7
Wind
77.4
3 ITA
69.4
TIM
89.7
Iliad
73.0
Download Image
Video Experience
in Palermo
in 0-100 points
Vodafone
72.1
Wind
58.0
3 ITA
61.6
TIM
70.1
Iliad
57.3
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Palermo
in Mbps
Vodafone
37.5
Wind
11.7
3 ITA
10.5
TIM
23.4
Iliad
12.7
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Palermo
in Mbps
Vodafone
10.5
Wind
5.7
3 ITA
5.8
TIM
9.2
Iliad
5.3
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Palermo
in ms
Vodafone
58.5
Wind
72.2
3 ITA
65.8
TIM
49.6
Iliad
83.7
Download Image

Rome

4G Availability
in Rome
in %
Vodafone
89.5
Wind
86.2
3 ITA
79.4
TIM
86.5
Iliad
85.2
Download Image
Video Experience
in Rome
in 0-100 points
Vodafone
71.8
Wind
64.4
3 ITA
61.8
TIM
71.0
Iliad
60.8
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Rome
in Mbps
Vodafone
32.0
Wind
19.1
3 ITA
17.4
TIM
28.8
Iliad
19.8
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Rome
in Mbps
Vodafone
9.9
Wind
9.1
3 ITA
8.1
TIM
10.1
Iliad
7.9
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Rome
in ms
Vodafone
40.1
Wind
52.2
3 ITA
60.6
TIM
34.9
Iliad
63.9
Download Image

Turin

4G Availability
in Turin
in %
Vodafone
93.6
Wind
78.8
3 ITA
57.6
TIM
92.6
Iliad
72.9
Download Image
Video Experience
in Turin
in 0-100 points
Vodafone
72.0
Wind
53.0
3 ITA
59.3
TIM
77.9
Iliad
54.4
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Turin
in Mbps
Vodafone
31.9
Wind
10.3
3 ITA
9.7
TIM
43.7
Iliad
10.5
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Turin
in Mbps
Vodafone
11.6
Wind
5.7
3 ITA
5.4
TIM
16.1
Iliad
5.0
Download Image
Latency Experience
in Turin
in ms
Vodafone
34.2
Wind
51.5
3 ITA
49.0
TIM
32.8
Iliad
76.7
Download Image

Note on methodology for this report: During preparation of the data a small number of measurements were identified where it was not possible to determine if the device was connected to a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), or a major network operator. These measurements were confirmed to have no material impact on the analysis and results, and were therefore removed in accordance with the principles of our Analytics charter.

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.

More about Methodology

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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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