This is the first time that Opensignal has assessed how mobile users experience real-time multiplayer mobile gaming at the operator-level in Belgium. Orange comfortably beat second-placed Proximus by 3.8 points to win the Games Experience Award. Both Orange and Proximus have placed in the Good (75-85) category, while Telenet earned a Fair (65-75) rating. A Good rating indicates that most users deemed the experience acceptable. In addition, the gameplay experience was generally controllable and most users did not experience a delay between their actions and the game. A Fair rating on the other hand, means that users found the experience to be ‘average’ and the majority noticed a delay between their actions and the outcomes in the game.
Measured on a scale of 0-100, Opensignal’s Games Experience metric quantifies the experience when playing real-time multiplayer mobile games on mobile devices connected to servers located around the world. The approach is built on several years of research quantifying the relationship between technical network parameters and the gaming experience as reported by real mobile users. These parameters include latency (round trip time), jitter (variability of latency) and packet loss (the proportion of data packets that never reach their destination). Additionally, it considers multiple genres of multiplayer mobile games to measure the average sensitivity to network conditions. The games tested include some of the most popular real-time multiplayer mobile games (such as Fortnite, Pro Evolution Soccer and Arena of Valor) played around the world.
In contrast to our previous report when our users saw significant improvements in most of our measures of the mobile network experience, this time round they saw declines in the majority of the operators’ scores. For example, the average overall download speeds observed by our Telenet and Proximus users fell by 4.3 Mbps (9.5%) and 4 Mbps (9.9%), respectively. In contrast, our Orange users saw their speeds drop by only 0.4 Mbps (1.4%). Orange was also the only operator to see its Video Experience score increase, but Telenet was the only operator not to see a significant drop in its Upload Speed Experience score
It is worth noting that a lot has happened in recent months and the stage is set for long-term improvements in Belgium’s mobile network experience. For example, Proximus launched its commercial 5G service on April 1st using its existing spectrum and infrastructure and by early June had expanded its 5G network to an additional 26 locations in Flanders. In mid July the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) granted temporary rights to spectrum in the 3.6GHz-3.8GHz band to five operators to allow them to proceed with 5G deployments until a spectrum auction can be organised.
Unfortunately, opposition to 5G deployments has already hampered Proximus’s 5G rollout and it has had to suspend its 5G service in some areas, which implies that any positive impact from the introduction of 5G on the country’s mobile network experience may take longer to make its presence felt compared to some other European countries where the general public is less concerned about 5G deployments.