Mobile Network Experience Report Hong Kong November 2020

Hong Kong

Mobile Network Experience Report
November 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
Ian Fogg VP Analysis

Key findings

csl wins Video Experience with a Very Good score of 73.1

While last time csl tied with 3 as a joint winner, now csl wins the award outright and 3 has to accept a second place with a score of 71.7 and in a tie with CMHK. Opensignal measures the real-world experience of mobile video streaming using an ITU-based approach to understand the perceived experience. SmarTone's improved score of 66.5 pushed its users' experience up from the Good (55-65) category to also rate as Very Good (65-75).

SmarTone holds onto the Games Experience award

In only the second time that Opensignal has compared the multiplayer mobile gaming experience in Hong Kong across operators, SmarTone again won the award with a score of 67.0 on a one hundred point scale. There was little difference between the gaming experience on the other three operators with scores of 62.6, 61.4 and 61.3 for CMHK, 3 and csl respectively.

CMHK catches csl to jointly win Opensignal's Hong Kong speed awards

CMHK narrowed the gap with csl to jointly win both the Download and Upload Speed Experience awards this time where in our last report csl won both awards outright. The download speeds of our csl users remained similar to last time with a score of 25.6 Mbps, but our CMHK users saw their average download speeds increase from 20.7 Mbps to 24.2 Mbps this time resulting in a statistical tie with csl. There was less change in Upload Speed Experience, with speeds varying by approximately 0.2 Mbps on both operators, but the change was enough for CMHK to tie with csl.

Voice App Experience is won by SmarTone

In a tight race, SmarTone narrowly wins the award with a score of 79.9 but under 4 points on a one hundred point scale separate Hong Kong's four operators. Voice App Experience reflects real-time communications made using over-the-top apps such as WhatsApp or WeChat.

Introduction

The mobile network experience awards for Hong Kong continue to be closely fought. While there are a number of joint wins this time, these draws actually reflect a changing in position of each operator. For example, csl has caught up with the previous winner on download and upload speeds. In Video Experience, csl has managed to break away from 3 this time.

The findings in this report highlight the importance of using a range of measures and not relying on speed alone to understand users' mobile experience. Both Games Experience and Voice App Experience awards are won by different operators to the winners of our speed awards. Similarly, while CMHK has improved in raw speed to jointly win those awards, it fails to make headway and win any of Opensignal's experiential awards such as Video, Games or Voice App Experience.

With 5G live in Hong Kong, mobile users will hope to see the overall mobile experience improve. However, while 5G measurements contribute to our findings, we see 2020's headwinds caused by COVID-19 and changed user behavior outweigh the uplift from 5G as most measures of mobile experience have dropped slightly since our last report in May. But the fact that the falls are so modest highlights the resilience of Hong Kong's mobile networks. And in some cases, we do see improvements in the mobile experience despite the challenges every operator and everyone faces this year.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Hong Kong
November 2020, Hong Kong 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
November 2020, Hong Kong
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
November 2020, Hong Kong
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
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Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
csl
73.1
3
71.7
SmarTone
66.5
CMHK
71.3
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

Results for Video Experience are mixed this time. Csl has created a clear lead over 3, enabling it to win the Video Experience award outright. But both operators record slightly lower scores this time, with csl's score falling from 74.1 to 73.1 and 3's from 73.8 to 71.7.

However, SmarTone improved its score, which rose slightly from 64.6 to 66.5 since our last report six months ago. This places the operator into the Very Good category alongside the other operators.

Opensignal's Video Experience 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 which 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.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
csl
73.1
3
71.7
SmarTone
66.5
CMHK
71.3
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Games Experience

SmarTone stands out from the pack in mobile Games Experience, winning the award for the second time in a row. There is little difference in the multiplayer mobile gaming experience on 3, csl or CMHK but SmarTone users see a score noticeably better than the other operators' users.

Games Experience 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.

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
csl
61.3
3
61.4
SmarTone
67.0
CMHK
62.6
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Voice App Experience

SmarTone wins a second experiential award with Voice App Experience, which reflects real-time voice communications using apps such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Skype, Facebook Messenger or Facetime. We use 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 real-world technical measurements and users' perceived call quality. Voice App Experience for each operator is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
csl
77.7
3
76.6
SmarTone
79.9
CMHK
77.3
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Download Speed Experience

CMHK has closed the gap with csl to jointly win Download Speed Experience in this report. While the average speeds users see on each operator may appear to be slightly different — 25.6 Mbps on csl and 24.2 Mbps on CMHK — because of overlapping confidence intervals they reflect a statistical draw and both operators jointly win the award where in our last report csl had a clear margin of more than 5 Mbps over CMHK.

Strikingly, despite winning both Games Experience and Voice App Experience, SmarTone placed equal last in Download Speed Experience which highlights the importance of testing a variety of aspects of mobile network experience separately. Similarly, CMHK failed to win Games, Video or Voice App Experience but still managed to jointly win Download Speed Experience.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
csl
25.6
3
20.0
SmarTone
20.9
CMHK
24.2
0 7.5 15 22.5 30
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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To understand Download Speed Experience, Opensignal measures the real-world speeds of smartphone users across each network generation — including 5G — end-to-end to the typical content delivery networks that host popular mobile apps and websites.

Upload Speed Experience

Upload Speed Experience is important for users sharing large files, photos, or videos onto social networks or in remote working situations. CMHK has also closed the gap with csl to jointly win Opensignal's Upload Speed Experience award as it has done for Download Speed Experience. Here, there is no statistical difference between csl and CMHK because while the mean is approximately 0.2 Mbps different, overlapping confidence intervals make the result a statistical tie.

3 and SmarTone also tied but our users on their networks saw upload speeds that were significantly slower than the two leading operators. But the race was close, and with only 1.1 Mbps separating all four operators, the Upload Speed Experience category is one to watch for the future.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
csl
8.5
3
7.6
SmarTone
7.3
CMHK
8.3
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Availability

4G Availability is a critical foundation for initial 5G services. It measures the proportion of time users are able to connect to 4G. But almost all 5G services that have launched in 2019 or 2020 use what is called non-standalone access (NSA) which means for a smartphone to have access to 5G service it must also be connected to a 4G signal. If there is no 4G signal, there can be no 5G service either. As newer versions of the 5G standard roll out this will change, but for now, 4G Availability remains extremely important.

In Hong Kong, there is little difference in 4G Availability between the operators. CMHK, csl and 3 tie to jointly win the award with SmarTone just missing out this time.

4G Availability
% of time
csl
94.6
3
94.4
SmarTone
92.7
CMHK
93.3
0 23.75 47.5 71.25 95
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Coverage Experience

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.

As with 4G Availability, there is little difference between the operators as far as this measure of the mobile experience is concerned — and in fact the two-way tie between csl and 3 that our users observed in our last report has broadened into a rare four-way between all of Hong Kong's major operators.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
csl
10.0
3
9.8
SmarTone
9.9
CMHK
10.0
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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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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