Mobile Network Experience Report Singapore November 2020

Singapore

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
Sam Fenwick Senior Analyst

Key findings

StarHub leads on Download Speed Experience by 7 Mbps

StarHub has become the sole winner of our Download Speed Experience award, as our users on its network saw their average overall download speeds increase by a remarkable 4.5 Mbps (8.6%), while their Singtel counterparts observed a 2.2 Mbps (4.2%) drop in their speeds. As a result, StarHub was able to break the two-way statistical tie between it and Singtel that our users observed in our last report and StarHub’s margin of victory stands at an impressive 7 Mbps.

TPG is closing the mobile experience gap on the leading operators

Our awards table aside, the most striking difference between the results of our last report and our current reporting period, is the degree to which TPG — which only launched its commercial offering in late March, albeit after a long trial phase — is closing the gap between it and Singapore’s established operators across a number of our measures of the mobile experience. Both TPG and M1 scored 75.3 points out of 100 for Video Experience, when in our previous report M1 was ahead of TPG by 7.5 points. Similarly, the gap between the two operators on Download Speed Experience has dropped from the 13.4 Mbps seen in our last report to 5.6 Mbps

StarHub forces a tie on Upload Speed Experience

In our previous report, Singtel won our Upload Speed Experience award outright by a margin of around 1.3 Mbps. However, as the operator’s score has fallen by 0.7 Mbps while StarHub’s has risen by 0.5 Mbps, Singtel and StarHub are now joint winners for this measure of the mobile experience.

Singtel and StarHub pull away from M1 on Video Experience and Games Experience

Last time round, our users observed three-way statistical ties between Singtel, StarHub and M1 for both Video Experience and Games Experience. In this reporting period, while both awards continue to be held by joint winners, only Singtel and StarHub remain tied for first place.

Starhub and TPG catch Singtel on Voice App Experience

Since our last report — when Singtel won the Voice App Experience award by 0.6 points — Singtel and M1’s scores have fallen by 0.9 points, while StarHub and TPG users saw their Voice App Experience improve by 0.5 and 1.9 points, respectively. This means that in our current reporting period, Singtel, StarHub and TPG are joint winners for the Voice App Experience award.

Introduction

Last time round, only three out of seven of our awards were won outright, with the remaining four shared between joint winners. In this report, the playing field has become even more competitive, as only one award — Download Speed Experience — has been won by a single operator, i.e. StarHub. On the flip side, the number of three-way ties has fallen from three to two, with M1 losing its joint winner status on both Video Experience and Games Experience, while a new three-way tie has opened up on Voice App Experience, between the previous sole winner — Singtel — along with StarHub and TPG. StarHub has forced a two-way tie on Upload Speed, which was previously solely held by Singtel and M1 has done the same to TPG for 4G Availability.

As we’ve noted earlier, new entrant TPG has done extremely well since our last report, as it has narrowed the gap between it and its more established rivals across a number of our measures of the mobile experience and has become a joint winner for Voice App Experience. However, while its Upload Speed Experience score has risen by 20.5%, our M1 and Singtel users still observed average overall upload speeds that were 2.3 times and 2.6 times those of their TPG counterparts, respectively. In addition, not everything has gone TPG’s way given that M1 has tied with it on 4G Availability.

TPG failed to obtain mid-band spectrum from the IMDA’s 5G Call for Proposal (CFP). Instead, the 5G winners were Singtel and JVCo (a consortium formed by M1 and StarHub). Mid-band spectrum is scarce in Singapore due to its extensive use for satellite communications in much of the South-East Asia region and the limited amount of 5G mid-band spectrum that was available for auction is the reason it was packaged into just two lots.

Fortunately for TPG it will be able to obtain wholesale access to Singtel and JVCo’s 5G networks and it will be able to deploy 5G using 800 MHz of mmWave spectrum. While mmWave on its own is difficult to cost-effectively deploy across large areas due to its propagation characteristics, Singapore’s city-state status means that it is one of the best places in the world to deploy mmWave. In addition, an operator’s need for spectrum is heavily influenced by the size of its customer base. If TPG has less users than its competitors (which is likely given that it is a new entrant), then it needs less spectrum to provide them with a good experience.

In this report, we've analyzed the mobile network experience of Singapore’s four national operators — Singtel, M1, StarHub and TPG — in the 90 days starting August 1, 2020, to see how they measure up. Given that Singtel, StarHub and M1 have all launched trial 5G services, we have used 5G measurements in addition to those from previous generations of mobile network technology when determining the overall scores for each metric.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Singapore
November 2020, Singapore Report
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Download Image
Mobile Experience Awards Winners
November 2020, Singapore
Download Speed Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
November 2020, Singapore
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App 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
Singtel
76.7
M1
75.3
StarHub
77.1
TPG
75.3
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

The gap between M1’s Video Experience score and that of the other two operators — Singtel and StarHub — that were tied for first place in our last report has widened to the point where it is only Singtel and StarHub that have statistically tied for the top spot in this reporting period. While our users on all three of these operators have seen small declines in their Video Experience since our previous report, our M1 users observed the largest drop in performance — a fall of 2.2 points (2.9%). However, M1, Singtel and StarHub have all retained their Excellent (75 or above) ratings for this measure of the mobile experience.

Our TPG users, on the other hand, have seen a marked improvement in their Video Experience. The new entrant’s score has risen by 5.2 points (7.4%) to 75.3 points — the same score as M1, which is an impressive achievement given that TPG only launched its commercial service back in late March. Its improved score has put TPG in the same category — Excellent — as its more established rivals.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Singtel
76.7
M1
75.3
StarHub
77.1
TPG
75.3
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
78.5 (± 0.33) 76.9 (± 0.59) 78.4 (± 0.44) 75.3 (± 1.22)
3G Video Experience
60.7 (± 2.10) 51.9 (± 4.92) 63.0 (± 3.43)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
79 (± 0.33)
77 (± 0.59)
78 (± 0.44)
75 (± 1.22)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
61 (± 2.10)
52 (± 4.92)
63 (± 3.43)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Games Experience

As has been the case with our Video Experience metric, M1 has dropped out of contention for first place on Games Experience. What had been a three-way tie between M1, Singtel and StarHub has narrowed to a two-way statistical tie between Singtel and StarHub. All three of these operators have remained in the Good (75-85) category for Games Experience, while our TPG users had a Fair (65-75) Games Experience.

A Good Games Experience rating means that most users deemed the experience acceptable. The gameplay experience was generally controllable and the user received immediate feedback between their actions and the outcomes in the game.

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Singtel
82.8
M1
79.6
StarHub
81.6
TPG
69.4
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
84.5 (± 0.67) 82.6 (± 1.08) 83.4 (± 0.97) 69.4 (± 2.04)
3G Games Experience
67.6 (± 2.38) 39.7 (± 3.13) 60.9 (± 3.52)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Games Experience in 0-100 points
85 (± 0.67)
83 (± 1.08)
83 (± 0.97)
69 (± 2.04)
3G Games Experience in 0-100 points
68 (± 2.38)
40 (± 3.13)
61 (± 3.52)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

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.

Voice App Experience

In contrast to our other two experiential metrics — Video Experience and Games Experience — our Voice App Experience award has gone from being won outright by Singtel to a three-way tie between it, StarHub and TPG. While Singtel and M1 both saw their scores decline by 0.9 points, our StarHub and TPG users saw their Voice App Experience improve by 0.5 and 1.9 points, respectively. The only movement our users observed as far as categories are concerned is that TPG has moved up a notch — from Acceptable (74-80) to Good (80-87) — bringing it in line with its more established rivals. A Good Voice App Experience means that many users were satisfied, although some may have experienced minor quality impairments such as clicking sounds or distortion.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Singtel
81.6
M1
80.9
StarHub
81.2
TPG
81.4
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
81.9 (± 0.28) 81.6 (± 0.42) 81.4 (± 0.45) 81.4 (± 0.75)
3G Voice App Experience
78.5 (± 1.00) 70.7 (± 2.25) 78.3 (± 1.25)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
82 (± 0.28)
82 (± 0.42)
81 (± 0.45)
81 (± 0.75)
3G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
79 (± 1.00)
71 (± 2.25)
78 (± 1.25)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

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

StarHub has decisively broken the two-way tie that existed between it and Singtel in our previous report and is now the sole winner of our Download Speed Experience award. Our StarHub users saw their average overall download speeds increase by a remarkable 4.5 Mbps (8.6%), while their Singtel counterparts observed a 2.2 Mbps (4.2%) drop in their speeds. As a result, StarHub’s margin of victory stands at an impressive 7 Mbps.

Of the other two operators, recent entrant TPG has the most to celebrate, as it has narrowed the gap between it and Singapore’s established operators. Our users on TPG’s network saw their average overall download speeds rise by 3.4 Mbps (15.5%) to hit 25.2 Mbps — and this achievement is all the more remarkable given the headwinds created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the damage it has caused to the global economy. In contrast, M1’s Download Speed Experience score fell by 4.5 Mbps (12.7%). This means that the gap between the two operators has dropped from the 13.4 Mbps seen in our last report to 5.6 Mbps.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Singtel
50.3
M1
30.7
StarHub
57.2
TPG
25.2
0 15 30 45 60
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
55.1 (± 0.99) 32.4 (± 0.73) 61.6 (± 1.25) 25.2 (± 1.27)
3G Download Speed
6.3 (± 0.21) 5.4 (± 0.44) 6.9 (± 0.36)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
55 (± 0.99)
32 (± 0.73)
62 (± 1.25)
25 (± 1.27)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
6 (± 0.21)
5 (± 0.44)
7 (± 0.36)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Upload Speed Experience

The outright win that Singtel achieved in our previous report for Upload Speed Experience has been replaced with a two-way statistical tie between it and StarHub. This change is due to a 0.5 Mbps rise in StarHub’s score and a 0.7 Mbps drop in Singtel’s, since our last report.

Our M1 users observed a 1.1 Mbps (7.2%) drop in their average upload speeds, while their counterparts on TPG saw theirs rise by nearly the same amount — 1 Mbps — but this increase was an impressive 20.5% in percentage terms. While TPG is rapidly catching up with M1 and Singtel on Download Speed Experience, even with this remarkable improvement, M1 and Singtel’s Upload Speed Experience scores are 2.3 and 2.6 times that of TPG’s, respectively.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Singtel
15.3
M1
13.6
StarHub
14.8
TPG
5.8
0 5 10 15 20
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
16.7 (± 0.25) 14.4 (± 0.34) 15.9 (± 0.31) 5.8 (± 0.28)
3G Upload Speed
2.0 (± 0.11) 1.8 (± 0.22) 2.0 (± 0.14)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
17 (± 0.25)
14 (± 0.34)
16 (± 0.31)
6 (± 0.28)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
2 (± 0.11)
2 (± 0.22)
2 (± 0.14)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

4G Availability

In many of our other metrics TPG has been closing rapidly on M1 but in this case, M1 has been able to turn the tables. In our last report, TPG won the 4G Availability award outright, with a lead of at least 1.7 percentage points. This time, M1 has managed to turn the contest into a two-way statistical tie, with both operators being declared joint winners.

Given the incredibly high 4G Availability scores we have seen in the past from Singapore’s operators, large improvements were always going to be hard to come by. This time round, our users on Singtel, M1 and TPG’s networks spent fractionally less of their time connected to 4G services. The declines ranged from the drop of 0.5 percentage points seen by our Singtel users to the fall of 0.2 points that was observed by their M1 counterparts. In contrast, StarHub saw its 4G Availability score rise by 1.1 percentage points to 94.5%.

4G Availability
% of time
Singtel
94.4
M1
95.0
StarHub
94.5
TPG
96.5
0 25 50 75 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

4G Coverage Experience

Little has changed since our last report in terms of 4G Coverage Experience with the three-way tie between Singtel, StarHub and M1 still yet to be broken. All three operator’s scores have also remained unchanged since last time, which is less than surprising given that both Singtel and StarHub have perfect scores — 10 out of 10 — for this measure of the mobile experience. In addition, M1 remains just 0.1 point off the same mark. TPG’s network is the only one on which our users have seen any change — and it’s for the better. The operator’s score rose by 0.2 points to 9.5.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Singtel
10.0
M1
9.9
StarHub
10.0
TPG
9.5
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

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.

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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