The user experience in Belgium across all three operators is remarkably consistent in terms of 4G Availability, 4G Coverage Experience, Voice App Experience and Video Experience. Download Speed Experience shows the most differentiation between operators, with users on Telenet now commanding an impressive 5.0 Mbps lead over the speeds seen on second placed Proximus. Both Latency Experience and Upload Speed Experience also show distinct, but less marked, differences in the user experience observed across the three operators.
Despite this apparent homogeneity, the Awards Table tells a different story, with Proximus snapping up five out of seven awards and ceding the remaining two to Telenet. We’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight the impressive download speeds Telenet’s users observed, which averaged 45.2 Mbps — 5.0 Mbps and 14.9 Mbps higher than those seen on Proximus and Orange’s networks.
High download speeds highlight the maturity of Belgium’s mobile network experience. In many countries users would be happy to see a download speed of nearly 15 Mbps, as they would be to match the 4G Availability levels in excess of 90% experienced on all three of Belgium’s operators. Another feather in the country’s cap is Video Experience, with all three operators now in the Excellent Category — up from Very Good — which means that Belgium will likely leap up the rankings when we next look at Video Experience from a global perspective.
While the main rationale behind the RAN sharing agreement between Proximus and Orange appears to be to accelerate 5G rollout, while also improving energy efficiency, it will be interesting to see if it leads to a reduction in the roughly 10 Mbps gap in Download Speed Experience between the two operators.
One area which has seen little change since our last report is that of Latency Experience, with the needle barely moving for Proximus and Orange, while Telenet’s users observed a modest 1.8ms increase which represents a slight worsening of the responsiveness of the network. Given that real-world Latency Experience is influenced by the core network and operators as well base stations and the type of mobile technology used, operators will hope to improve latencies with the switch to 5G technology in future.