The State of Mobile Video Experience

November 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.

Real-world experience
Scientific analysis
Ian Fogg
VP Analysis
Sue Marek
Senior Analyst
David Nedescu
Senior Analyst

Key Findings

In one year mobile Video Experience has significantly improved in 59% of 100 countries analyzed

Users now experienced Very Good mobile Video Experience in 22 countries, including major markets like Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.K. Similarly, 21 countries moved into the Good category this year, including Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Russia and Vietnam. France was the only country to jump two categories, rising from Fair to Very Good in just one year. In total, 59 countries changed Video Experience category.

Top-ranked countries for mobile Download Speed were far from top in Video Experience

South Korean users’ experience ranked first for download speed yet 21st for video, while Canadians’ were third fastest for download speed in Opensignal’s State of Mobile report, but just 22nd for video. This contrast between results in part reflects the way wireless operators routinely manage mobile video traffic differently to file downloads in order to prevent the vast quantities of video data hurting the experience of other mobile apps and services.

Real-world growth in mobile video consumption requires true real-world video analytics

Opensignal's unique mobile Video Experience measure is derived from an ITU-based approach for determining perceived video quality. Among other inputs, our methodology takes picture quality, video loading time and stall rate into account to create a score on a scale of 0-100, reflecting users’ perceived mobile video quality. Uniquely, Opensignal tests mobile video streaming at scale and does not estimate video experience based on speed tests or other indirect measurements.

The U.S. is lagging behind on mobile video as carriers face a spectrum crunch

While there was an improvement in Americans’ Video Experience — with the score increasing from 46.7 to 53.8 points — it was not enough to shift U.S. consumers up a gear into the Good category. Instead, Video Experience remained stuck in the Fair category. Americans had the lowest Video Experience score of any of the G7 economically leading countries as U.S. carriers struggle with the combination of enormous mobile video consumption and insufficient new spectrum. Opensignal’s results highlight the need for the release of more mid-band spectrum to help U.S. carriers meet the mobile video needs of Americans.

For the first time, we see six countries rate as Excellent for mobile video quality

In Opensignal’s analysis of 100 countries, only mobile users in Norway, the Czech Republic, Austria, Denmark, Hungary and the Netherlands enjoyed the top category of mobile Video Experience, although overall, users in 37% of countries enjoyed either a Very Good or Excellent experience. Notably, in 2018 no country rated as Excellent.

28% of countries ranked just Fair for mobile Video Experience

Those countries in the Fair category include large markets like Indonesia, the Philippines, Russia, and even the U.S. By contrast, in 9% of countries users suffered a Poor mobile Video Experience, meaning mobile video is practically unwatchable.

Read the full report

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