Libya

Mobile Network Experience Report
October 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

While Al-Madar leads on all seven of our metrics nationally, Libyana wins on Download Speed Experience in Tripoli and ties on 4G Availability

While Al-Madar completely dominated our national awards table, winning every award outright, things were less cut and dried in Tripoli, where our Libyana users observed average download speeds that were 1 Mbps faster than those seen by their Al-Madar counterparts. In addition, the two operators statistically tied on 4G Availability with our users in the nation’s capital spending over 52% of their time connected to 4G services.

Al-Madar wins by 0.4 Mbps on Download Speed Experience;.

Our first look at average download speeds in Libya reveals Download Speed Experience scores that are quite modest by international standards reflecting the challenges operators face because of Libya’s difficult geography and recent history. Our users on Al-Madar and Libyana observed average speeds of 4.4 Mbps and 3.9 Mbps, respectively. Al-Madar’s lead was a respectable 0.4 Mbps (11.2%) over second-placed Libyana. However, when we looked at 4G download speeds alone, our Libyana users’ average speeds were 1.1 Mbps faster than their Al-Madar counterparts.

There’s lots of room for improvement on Games Experience

Al-Madar has won our first Libyan Games Experience Award with a score of 37 points, 5.5 points higher than Libyana’s score of 31.5 points. However, both operators placed in the Very Poor (under 40) category, indicating that as far as supporting gaming over mobile networks, there is considerable room for improvement. Opensignal’s Games Experience metric is a measure of how mobile users experience real-time multiplayer mobile gaming on an operator’s cellular network.

Our Al-Madar users observed the best Video Experience

Al-Madar is our first Libyan winner for Video Experience with a score of 38.1 points out of 100 and a lead of 5.9 points (18.4%) over Libyana’s score of 32.2 points. Both operators have placed in the Poor (under 40) category. This means that our Libyan users did not have a good experience even for lower resolution videos across all providers. In addition, very slow loading times and frequent stalling were common.

Al-Madar’s Upload Speed Experience score beats Libyana’s by nearly 28%

Al-Madar has won the Upload Speed Experience award with a score of 1.9 Mbps, while Libyana has to make do with second place, given its score of 1.5 Mbps. Al-Madar’s score was an impressive 27.8% higher than Libyana’s. Again, when we looked at 4G-only upload speeds, our Libyana users see faster speeds on average than our Al-Madar users with scores of 4.7 Mbps and 3.9 Mbps, respectively.

Introduction

In this, our inaugural Mobile Network Experience report for Libya, we’ve analyzed our users’ mobile network experience across the two main mobile network operators in Libya — Al-Madar and Libyana — over a period of 90 days beginning June 1, 2020 to see how they compare.

Al-Madar has achieved that rare feat of winning all of our national awards outright — and in some measures of the mobile experience by an impressive margin. For example, it commanded a 12.8 point (22.8%) lead over Libyana on Voice App Experience, led on Upload Speed Experience by a margin of 27.8% and was seven percentage points ahead of its rival on 4G Availability.

While many of the scores observed by our Libyan users are modest by international standards, it should be noted that both Al-Madar and Libyana have been making rapid progress — progress that is all the more remarkable for taking place against the backdrop of a civil war. This was recently illustrated by the news back in August that Al-Madar had succeeded in restoring mobile services to the city of Sirte, which had been without them for three months in the wake of its capture by the rebel Libyan National Army (LNA) and its subsequent clashes with the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord.

In our Global Mobile Network Experience Awards 2020 report, we recognized both operators as Global Rising Stars in multiple categories — Video Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and 4G Availability in the case of Libyana, while Al-Madar had slightly less success, gathering three out of these four accolades with the exception being Download Speed Experience. Being recognized as a Global Rising Star signifies that the operator is one of the top 30 operators globally for the percentage change in their score for a specific measure of the mobile experience between H1 2019 and H1 2020.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Libya
October 2020, Libya Report
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
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Mobile Experience Awards Winners
October 2020, Libya
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Download Image

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Libyana
32.2
Al-Madar
38.1
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

Al-Madar is our first Libyan winner for Video Experience with a score of 38.1 points out of 100 and a lead of 5.9 points (18.4%) over Libyana’s score of 32.2 points. Both operators have placed in the Poor (under 40) category. This means that our Libyan users did not have a good experience even for lower resolution videos across all providers. In addition, very slow loading times and frequent stalling were common.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Libyana
32.2
Al-Madar
38.1
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Video Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Video Experience
54.6 (± 2.05) 60.3 (± 4.27)
3G Video Experience
24.2 (± 3.80)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | October 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
55 (± 2.05)
60 (± 4.27)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
24 (± 3.80)
Mobile Network Experience Report | October 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Opensignal’s Video Experience metric quantifies the quality of video streamed to mobile devices by measuring real-world video streams over an operator's networks. The metric is derived on an International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-based approach, built upon detailed studies that have derived a relationship between technical parameters, including picture quality, video loading time and stall rate, with the perceived video experience as reported by real people. To calculate video experience, we are directly measuring video streams from end-user devices and using this ITU approach to quantify the overall video experience for each operator on a scale from 0 to 100. The videos tested include a mixture of resolutions and are streamed directly from the world’s largest video content providers.

Games Experience

Turning to Games Experience, our measure of how mobile users experience real-time multiplayer mobile gaming on an operator’s network, Al-Madar once again came out top, this time with a score of 37 points versus the 31.5 points scored by its rival, Libyana. This translates into a 5.5 point (17.4%) lead for Al-Madar. However, both operators placed in the Very Poor (under 40) category, indicating that as far as supporting gaming over mobile networks, there is considerable room for improvement. A Very Poor rating means that nearly all users found this level of experience unacceptable and experienced a noticeable delay within the game, with most of them not feeling like they had control of the gameplay.

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Libyana
31.5
Al-Madar
37.0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Games Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Games Experience
42.9 (± 1.98) 55.4 (± 1.66)
3G Games Experience
28.4 (± 0.46) 34.0 (± 0.42)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | October 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Games Experience in 0-100 points
43 (± 1.98)
55 (± 1.66)
3G Games Experience in 0-100 points
28 (± 0.46)
34 (± 0.42)
Mobile Network Experience Report | October 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Measured on a scale of 0-100, this metric analyzes how the multiplayer mobile gaming experience is affected by mobile network conditions including latency, packet loss and jitter to determine the impact on gameplay.

The 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. 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.

Voice App Experience

In the contest for the third of our experiential metrics — Voice App Experience — Al-Madar triumphed over Libyana yet again, this time with a score of 68.6 points out of 100, while Libyana had to settle for second place with a score of 55.9. Al-Madar led by an impressive 12.8 points (22.8%). However, both operators have some way to go before our users can enjoy a Good or even Acceptable Voice App Experience. Al-Madar’s score places it in the Poor (66-74) category, while Libyana had to settle for an Unintelligible (45-60) rating.

A Poor rating means that many users were dissatisfied and experienced call quality impairments such as distortion, clicking sounds or silence, which is perceptible and can be annoying. An Unintelligible rating on the other hand — which is two categories below Poor — indicates that nearly all users were dissatisfied. In addition, frequent instances of long pauses, clicking sounds or distortion were heard during users’ calls.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Libyana
55.9
Al-Madar
68.6
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Voice App Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Voice App Experience
72.2 (± 0.74) 76.1 (± 0.60)
3G Voice App Experience
50.1 (± 1.20) 64.3 (± 0.90)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | October 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
72 (± 0.74)
76 (± 0.60)
3G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
50 (± 1.20)
64 (± 0.90)
Mobile Network Experience Report | October 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

When we break our users’ Voice App Experience down by mobile network technology generation, the gap between the two operators’ scores was far more modest when looking at the 4G Voice App Experience in isolation, with only 3.9 points separating the two rivals. In contrast, the difference in the 3G Voice App Experience observed by our Al-Madar and Libyana users was more extreme than that seen for the overall metric: Al-Madar’s 3G-only score was 14.3 points (28.6%) higher than Libyana’s.

Opensignal's Voice App Experience measures the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — mobile voice apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger etc. — using a model derived from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-based approach for quantifying overall voice call quality and a series of calibrated technical parameters. This model characterizes the exact relationship between the technical measurements and perceived call quality. Voice App Experience for each operator is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100.

Download Speed Experience

Al-Madar has taken possession of our inaugural Download Speed Experience award with a score of 4.4 Mbps — 0.4 Mbps (11.2%) ahead of the 3.9 Mbps observed by our Libyana users.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Libyana
3.9
Al-Madar
4.4
0 1.25 2.5 3.75 5
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
9.1 (± 0.34) 8.1 (± 0.20)
3G Download Speed
2.1 (± 0.11) 2.2 (± 0.08)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | October 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
9 (± 0.34)
8 (± 0.20)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
2 (± 0.11)
2 (± 0.08)
Mobile Network Experience Report | October 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

When we break down our users’ Download Speed Experience by mobile network technology generation, it is interesting to note that our Libyana 4G users observed the fastest average speeds when connected to a 4G network by 1.1 Mbps — 9.1 Mbps versus the 8.1 Mbps observed by their Al-Madar counterparts. This, together with the fact that our Libyana users spend less time connected to 4G than their Al-Madar counterparts indicates that the gap in 4G Availability between the two operators is responsible for Libyana placing second for the overall Download Speed Experience.

Upload Speed Experience

Al-Madar has won the Upload Speed Experience award with a score of 1.9 Mbps, while Libyana has to make do with second-place, given its score of 1.5 Mbps. Al-Madar’s score was an impressive 27.8% higher than Libyana’s in percentage terms.

While traditionally more attention has been paid to download speeds than upload speeds, the latter are gaining in importance given the shift towards users producing and uploading their own content to social media rather than just consuming content.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Libyana
1.5
Al-Madar
1.9
0 0.625 1.25 1.875 2.5
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
4.7 (± 0.17) 3.9 (± 0.13)
3G Upload Speed
0.4 (± 0.03) 0.8 (± 0.04)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | October 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
5 (± 0.17)
4 (± 0.13)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
0 (± 0.03)
1 (± 0.04)
Mobile Network Experience Report | October 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

As with Download Speed Experience, when we examine our Libyan users’ average upload speeds by mobile network technology generation our Libyana users observed the fastest 4G-only speeds — 4.7 Mbps versus the 3.9 Mbps seen by their Al-Madar counterparts, implying that Libyana’s overall Upload Speed Experience was dragged down by its 4G Availability score, which was seven percentage points lower than Al-Madar’s.

4G Availability

Libya is at a relatively early stage of its 4G rollout, judging by our users’ experience. Our Al-Madar and Libyana users spent 54.5% and 47.5% of their time connected to 4G services. As a consequence, Al-Madar has won our award for 4G Availability by seven percentage points.

4G Availability
% of time
Libyana
47.5
Al-Madar
54.5
0 13.75 27.5 41.25 55
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Availability is not a measure of coverage or the geographic extent of a network. It won’t tell you whether you are likely to get coverage if you plan to visit a far-flung region that is off the beaten track. Instead, it measures what proportion of time people have a network connection, in the places they most commonly frequent, something often missed by traditional coverage metrics. Looking at when users have an LTE connection, rather than where, provides us with a more precise reflection of the true user experience.

4G Coverage Experience

Looking at our final measure of the mobile network experience — 4G Coverage Experience, Al-Madar has won outright with a score of 3.8 out of 10, 0.4 points ahead of Libyana’s score of 3.4.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Libyana
3.4
Al-Madar
3.8
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Opensignal’s 4G Coverage Experience metric is a measure of how mobile subscribers experience 4G coverage on an operator’s network. Measured on a scale of 0-10, it analyzes the locations where customers of a network operator received a 4G signal relative to the locations visited by users of all network operators.

In simple terms, 4G Coverage Experience measures the mobile coverage experience in all the locations that matter most to everyday users — i.e., all the places where they live, work and travel. It considers all the areas that Opensignal users visit, the portion of locations that 4G is available to them, and locations that more users visit have higher importance to them.

Regional Analysis

Turning to Libya’s capital, Tripoli, our users observed a somewhat different state of affairs to that seen nationally, with Libyana coming top for Download Speed Experience, with a score of 5.2 Mbps, 1 Mbps faster than Al-Madar’s. In addition, Al-Madar was forced to share the award for 4G Availability with Libyana, due to a statistical tie between the two operators.

However, Al-Madar’s Video Experience score of 46.9 was an impressive 8.8 points (23%) above its national score and means that our Al-Madar user in the capital had a Fair (40-55) Video Experience — in contrast to the Poor (under 40) Video Experience perceived by their Libyana counterparts and our users on both operators’ networks nationally.

A Fair Video Experience indicates that our users did not have a good experience either while streaming higher resolution videos (very slow loading times and prolonged stalling) or when using some video streaming providers. However, their experience when streaming lower resolution videos from some providers might have been sufficient.

Select any region below to display individual breakdown

Tripoli

Video Experience
in Tripoli
in 0-100 points
Al-Madar
46.9
Libyana
36.7
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Games Experience
in Tripoli
in 0-100 points
Al-Madar
36.5
Libyana
32.4
Download Image
Voice App Experience
in Tripoli
in 0-100 points
Al-Madar
67.7
Libyana
57.1
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Tripoli
in Mbps
Al-Madar
4.2
Libyana
5.2
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Tripoli
in Mbps
Al-Madar
2.1
Libyana
1.8
Download Image
4G Availability
in Tripoli
in %
Al-Madar
52.3
Libyana
53.2
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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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