Mobile Network Experience Report Saudi Arabia April 2020

Saudi Arabia

Mobile Network Experience Report
April 2020

Opensignal Active Userbase in Saudi Arabia
Total Devices
278,540
Total Measurements
673,052,374
Data Collection Period
Jan 01 Mar 30, 2020

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
Sam Fenwick Senior Analyst

Key findings

STC edges ahead of Zain on 4G Availability, claims 4G Coverage Experience Award

In our previous report, STC and Mobily joined Zain in providing 4G Availability of 80% or more. This time, all three have hit the 85% mark or beyond, while STC has overtaken Zain for this measure of the mobile experience. STC’s 4G users were on 4G connections for 86.4% of the time, up an impressive 5.5 points and within striking distance of the 90% mark for our next report if it keeps up this rate of progress. Mobily’s users also saw good progress — its 4G Availability rose by 5 points to 85%, just 0.5 percentage points shy of that seen by Zain’s users.

STC users see big improvements in download and upload speeds

STC experienced a great burst speed since our last report in October, with its users seeing increases of 7.2 Mbps (38.8%) and 2.4 Mbps (27.8%) in Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience, respectively. This enabled STC to claim the Download Speed Experience award outright after having previously tied with Mobily for it — and lead by a comfortable margin of 5.2 Mbps. In contrast, Mobily and Zain’s users observed more modest improvements in these measures of the mobile experience, with Download Speed Experience increasing by between 2 and 2.1 Mbps and Upload Speed Experience rising by 1 Mbps for both operators.

Saudi Arabia’s operators have made good progress on Video Experience

All of the kingdom’s nationwide operators have made good progress in terms of Video Experience since our last report, with their users reporting increases of more than seven points. Previously all three operators placed in the Good category (55-65) for this measure of the mobile experience, but this time, both STC and Mobily have moved into the Very Good (65-75) category. This means that their users experienced generally fast loading times and only occasional stalling but the experience may have been somewhat inconsistent.

STC and Mobily dominate our awards table

Both STC and Mobily have added to their awards tally since our last report, with STC increasing its haul from three to five by taking the 4G Availability award from Zain and winning our new 4G Coverage Experience Award. STC also won the Download Speed Experience award outright after tying with Mobily for it in our last report. Mobily also increased its award tally by two to three, stripping STC of the Voice App Experience award and claiming our new Games Experience award.

The Saudi mobile gaming experience has a great deal of room for improvement

Our first look at our new Games Experience metric at the operator level in Saudi Arabia, reveals that all three operators have much work still to do before they can provide their mobile gamers with an experience free of connectivity issues. Both STC and Zain fall into Very Poor for this measure of the mobile experience, while the winner, Mobily, is just ahead with a score of 42.5, which places it in the Poor category.

Introduction

Since our last report in October 2019, Saudi Arabia’s operators have made healthy progress with their users observing improvements in their mobile experience across the vast majority of our metrics. STC was the exception to this rule, but only for Voice App Experience and Latency Experience. The operator has made great strides in both Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience, with its users seeing increases of 7.2 Mbps (38.8%) and 2.4 Mbps (27.8%), respectively, allowing it to claim the Download Speed Experience award outright after having previously tied with Mobily for it.

All three operators’ 4G users spent 85% or more of their time on 4G connections — a significant improvement from the results seen in our last report, but still shy of the 90% plus figures we see in some markets.

Our awards table has undergone a considerable amount of reshuffling since our last report. In addition to becoming the new holder for the Download Speed Experience Award, STC also picked up our new 4G Coverage Experience award and snatched the 4G Availability award from the previous holder, Zain. However, not everything went STC’s way — Mobily pushed past it to claim the Voice App Experience award, and also picked up our new Games Experience award.

While STC was the only operator whose users reported an increase in Latency Experience (of 6ms), this measure of the mobile experience is still a weak spot across all three of the kingdom’s operators — given that our users observed latencies greater than 55ms (a startlingly high 82.6ms in the case of STC). Unsurprisingly, this had a knock-on effect on latency-sensitive applications and is reflected to some extent in the kingdom’s operators’ placing in either the Very Poor (STC and Zain) or Poor (Mobily) categories for our new one-of-a-kind Games Experience metric.

Opensignal’s Games Experience metric is a measure of how mobile users experience real-time multiplayer mobile gaming on an operator’s network. Measured on a scale of 0-100, it analyzes how the multiplayer mobile Games Experience is affected by mobile network conditions including latency, packet loss and jitter to determine the impact on gameplay and the overall multiplayer Games Experience.

Looking to the future, the stage appears to be set for significant improvements in both Games Experience and many of our other measures of the mobile experience. Both STC and Zain have already launched 5G mobile services, while Mobily is currently providing a 5G fixed wireless access service and is likely to follow its peers soon given the deals that it has recently signed with Ericsson and Nokia. 5G smartphones and their supporting networks can offer significantly faster download and upload speeds than their 4G counterparts – through allowing the use of higher frequency bands and more sophisticated techniques — as well as lower latencies.

In this report, we’ve analyzed the mobile network experience provided by Saudi Arabia’s three national operators — STC, Mobily and Zain — at the national level in the 90 days starting January, 1, 2020.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Saudi Arabia
April 2020, Saudi Arabia Report
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Download Image
Mobile Experience Awards Winners
April 2020, Saudi Arabia
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Latency Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Download Image

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
STC
68.8
Mobily
67.6
Zain
62.6
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

National Analysis

Video Experience

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
STC
68.8
Mobily
67.6
Zain
62.6
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
74.2 (± 0.26) 73.3 (± 0.35) 67.0 (± 0.55)
3G Video Experience
47.7 (± 1.13) 48.7 (± 1.39) 43.6 (± 1.76)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
74 (± 0.26)
73 (± 0.35)
67 (± 0.55)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
48 (± 1.13)
49 (± 1.39)
44 (± 1.76)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Games Experience

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
STC
39.2
Mobily
42.5
Zain
37.8
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Games Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Games Experience
43.0 (± 0.36) 51.6 (± 0.58) 38.9 (± 0.12)
3G Games Experience
34.3 (± 0.21) 35.9 (± 0.26) 33.0 (± 0.39)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Games Experience in 0-100 points
43 (± 0.36)
52 (± 0.58)
39 (± 0.12)
3G Games Experience in 0-100 points
34 (± 0.21)
36 (± 0.26)
33 (± 0.39)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Voice App Experience

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
STC
74.0
Mobily
74.9
Zain
69.4
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Voice App Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Voice App Experience
76.4 (± 0.16) 77.4 (± 0.26) 71.6 (± 0.34)
3G Voice App Experience
64.8 (± 0.47) 66.4 (± 0.63) 60.0 (± 0.98)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
76 (± 0.16)
77 (± 0.26)
72 (± 0.34)
3G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
65 (± 0.47)
66 (± 0.63)
60 (± 0.98)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Download Speed Experience

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
STC
25.9
Mobily
20.7
Zain
12.4
0 7.5 15 22.5 30
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
30.8 (± 0.25) 25.5 (± 0.26) 14.2 (± 0.20)
3G Download Speed
5.2 (± 0.10) 4.7 (± 0.10) 4.0 (± 0.12)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
31 (± 0.25)
25 (± 0.26)
14 (± 0.20)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
5 (± 0.10)
5 (± 0.10)
4 (± 0.12)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Upload Speed Experience

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
STC
10.9
Mobily
6.8
Zain
6.2
0 3.75 7.5 11.25 15
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
13.3 (± 0.10) 8.5 (± 0.11) 7.4 (± 0.11)
3G Upload Speed
1.1 (± 0.03) 1.1 (± 0.03) 1.0 (± 0.04)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
13 (± 0.10)
9 (± 0.11)
7 (± 0.11)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
1 (± 0.03)
1 (± 0.03)
1 (± 0.04)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Latency Experience

Latency Experience
in ms The lower the figure the better the latency
STC
82.6
Mobily
57.4
Zain
62.1
0 21.25 42.5 63.75 85
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Latency Experience
Supporting Metrics
in ms
4G Latency
74.6 (± 0.34) 49.8 (± 0.30) 56.0 (± 0.53)
3G Latency
113.5 (± 1.41) 82.4 (± 1.49) 88.4 (± 2.51)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Latency in ms
75 (± 0.34)
50 (± 0.30)
56 (± 0.53)
3G Latency in ms
113 (± 1.41)
82 (± 1.49)
88 (± 2.51)
Mobile Network Experience Report | April 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

4G Availability

4G Availability
% of time
STC
86.4
Mobily
85.0
Zain
85.4
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

4G Coverage Experience

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
STC
8.4
Mobily
6.5
Zain
7.0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
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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