Mobile Network Experience Report Costa Rica December 2020

Costa Rica

Mobile Network Experience Report
December 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
Hardik Khatri Technical Analyst

Key findings

Kölbi leads on Download Speed Experience by more than 10 Mbps

Kölbi remains the operator to beat when it comes to Download Speed Experience in Costa Rica. Our users on its network saw the greatest improvement of 3.2 Mbps, with download speeds averaging 22 Mbps. As a result of this, its lead over second-placed Claro has grown from the 8.9 Mbps that was seen in our previous report to 10.3 Mbps.

Kölbi and Claro are joint winners in Upload Speed Experience

Kölbi, the previous outright winner of the Upload Speed Experience award, ended up in a dead-heat with Claro. In our last report, Kölbi had a modest 0.5 Mbps lead over Claro, but this time there is no statistically significant difference between the two operators’ scores. The main cause of this tie was a 0.4 Mbps (6.2%) drop in the average overall upload speeds observed by our Kölbi users and a 0.3 Mbps increase seen by their Claro counterparts, with scores averaging just above 6 Mbps.

Movistar and Claro tie on 4G Availability

In our previous report, Movistar won our 4G Availability award outright by a margin of 2.8 percentage points. However, as the operator’s score has fallen by 2.6 percentage points while Claro’s has risen by 1.7 percentage points, Movistar and Claro are now joint winners with statistically tied scores for this measure of network experience.

Kölbi users continue to enjoy the best Video Experience in Costa Rica

Kölbi won the Video Experience Award with a score of 62.6 on a 100-point scale, which gives it a Good rating and is just 2.4 points shy of the Very Good rating it achieved in our last report. This is a small 3.7% decline from the score of 65 it achieved in our previous report. Movistar’s score also declined by 2.1%, while Claro’s scores improved by a negligible 0.2%. With these modest changes, our Movistar and Claro users continue to perceive a Fair Video Experience.

Introduction

In this report, we've analyzed our data gathered in the 90 days from the start of August 2020 to compare the mobile network experience of Costa Rica’s three national operators: Kölbi, Claro and Movistar. We further delved deeper into four regions, comparing the results of these three operators. As this period includes an introduction phase of COVID-19 measures (running from August 31 to September 8) and a controlled reopening phase (in effect since September 9), it also indicates to what degree the country’s mobile experience has weathered the resulting changes in people’s data consumption habits and locations. Overall the mobile experience in Costa Rica has been resilient given the challenges everyone has been facing in 2020.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Costa Rica
December 2020, Costa Rica 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
December 2020, Costa Rica
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Latency Experience
4G Coverage Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
December 2020, Costa Rica
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
Download Image

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
62.6
Claro
54.4
Movistar
53.7
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

Kölbi continues to lead on Video Experience in Costa Rica. The operator won our Video Experience award with a score of 62.6 points (on a scale of 0-100) — a decline of 2.4 points since our last report, which placed Kölbi in the Good category. Our users on Movistar also reported a drop of 1.1 points, while their Claro counterparts saw a diminutive improvement of 0.1 points. As a result, both operators remain in the Fair category. Looking solely at 4G Video Experience, Claro and Movistar maintained a Good rating with our users on their networks reporting an increase of less than a point. Simultaneously, Kölbi ended up in the Very Good category with a decline of 1.4 points.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
62.6
Claro
54.4
Movistar
53.7
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
74.0 (± 0.66) 63.6 (± 1.45) 64.8 (± 1.03)
3G Video Experience
43.7 (± 1.65) 35.8 (± 2.65) 30.3 (± 2.22)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
74 (± 0.66)
64 (± 1.45)
65 (± 1.03)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
44 (± 1.65)
36 (± 2.65)
30 (± 2.22)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Opensignal’s Video Experience metric quantifies video streaming quality by measuring real-world video streams across a range of content delivery networks, using dedicated video streaming tests to reflect the true experience of users over an operator’s mobile network. The metric calculation takes picture quality, video loading time and stall rate into account. A Good rating indicates that our users enjoyed an acceptable experience when streaming mobile video at lower resolutions, but loading times could still be slow and stalling was not uncommon, especially at higher resolutions. And as we descend to the Fair rating, loading times get longer and users will encounter more stops and stutters in video streams, most notably at higher resolutions.

Games Experience

Playing multiplayer mobile games in Costa Rica continues to remain challenging for our users on all three networks. Claro held on to our Opensignal Games Experience award with a score of 55.1 out of a possible 100. The mobile Games Experience of our Movistar and Kölbi users continued to lag Claro, similarly to our last report.

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
38.1
Claro
55.1
Movistar
36.2
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
45.3 (± 0.81) 63.2 (± 1.07) 39.8 (± 0.68)
3G Games Experience
34.1 (± 0.25) 41.1 (± 1.36) 32.5 (± 0.33)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Games Experience in 0-100 points
45 (± 0.81)
63 (± 1.07)
40 (± 0.68)
3G Games Experience in 0-100 points
34 (± 0.25)
41 (± 1.36)
33 (± 0.33)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Games Experience quantifies the experience of real-time multiplayer mobile gaming on an operator’s network. It represents the experience of popular genres of mobile games such as battle royale games like Fortnite or MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) titles like Arena of Valor. Several factors combine to determine the eventual score, including jitter, packet loss and latency. A high score indicates better gameplay and means that a game’s artificial intelligence is less likely to smooth over issues with network communications that could otherwise interrupt play.

Voice App Experience

Claro held on to our Voice App Experience award and maintained an Acceptable rating with a score of 78.4 points. While our Claro users reported a tiny improvement of less than a point, compared to our last report, those on Kölbi and Movistar users observed a decline of 3.2 and 1.9 points, respectively. With a score of 71.8 points, Kölbi joined Movistar (70.8) in the Poor category.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
71.8
Claro
78.4
Movistar
70.8
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
75.4 (± 0.42) 80.2 (± 0.48) 74.2 (± 0.59)
3G Voice App Experience
65.8 (± 0.76) 74.7 (± 1.06) 63.6 (± 1.07)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
75 (± 0.42)
80 (± 0.48)
74 (± 0.59)
3G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
66 (± 0.76)
75 (± 1.06)
64 (± 1.07)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

An Acceptable rating means users were satisfied with the quality of the call and were generally able to comprehend without repetition, while some may have suffered from perceptible call quality impairments such as clicking sounds or distortion. Likewise, a Poor rating means many users were dissatisfied and likely suffered from increased call quality impairments.

Our Voice App Experience metric quantifies the quality of consumers’ experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services using apps like WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger over mobile networks. It ranks operators on a scale of 0-100 using a mean opinion score (MOS) model derived from an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) based approach for quantifying overall voice call quality.

Download Speed Experience

Our users have once again observed the highest average download speeds on Kölbi’s network, with the operator racking up an impressive Download Speed Experience score of 22 Mbps, up by 3.2 Mbps from our previous report. With this boost, Kölbi’s lead has widened from 8.9 Mbps to 10.3 Mbps over second-placed Claro (11.7 Mbps). This means that our Kölbi users enjoy 87.7% faster speed than their peers on Claro’s network who reported a gain of 1.8 Mbps. In contrast, Movistar users saw a slight decline with download speeds averaging 8 Mbps.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Kölbi
22.0
Claro
11.7
Movistar
8.0
0 6.25 12.5 18.75 25
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
33.0 (± 0.70) 15.8 (± 0.67) 10.3 (± 0.24)
3G Download Speed
3.7 (± 0.09) 3.5 (± 0.18) 3.0 (± 0.15)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
33 (± 0.70)
16 (± 0.67)
10 (± 0.24)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
4 (± 0.09)
3 (± 0.18)
3 (± 0.15)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Breaking down the download speeds by technology: on 4G Download Speed Experience, Kölbi has burst through the 30 Mbps milestone with an impressive score of 33 Mbps — almost 110% faster than Claro’s score of 15.7 Mbps and 3.2 times faster than Movistar’s score of 10.3 Mbps. On 3G Download Speed Experience, all three operators were on a par with 0.7 Mbps or less separating their scores.

Upload Speed Experience

The outright win that Kölbi achieved in our previous report for Upload Speed Experience has been replaced with a statistical tie between it and Claro. This change is due to a 0.3 Mbps (4.4%) rise in Claro’s score and a 0.4 Mbps (6.2%) drop in Kölbi’s, since our last report six months ago. Simultaneously, our Movistar users observed a marginal decrease of 0.1Mbps to 4.6 Mbps.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Kölbi
6.2
Claro
6.4
Movistar
4.6
0 1.875 3.75 5.625 7.5
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
9.1 (± 0.21) 8.8 (± 0.34) 6.5 (± 0.18)
3G Upload Speed
1.4 (± 0.06) 1.4 (± 0.08) 0.6 (± 0.03)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
9 (± 0.21)
9 (± 0.34)
6 (± 0.18)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
1 (± 0.06)
1 (± 0.08)
1 (± 0.03)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Upload speeds are becoming increasingly important in mobile services, as social media, social sharing and video chat apps become more widely used. Mobile users are moving away from content consumption to content creation, which gives operators with the fastest upload speeds a distinct advantage.

Latency Experience

Our Latency Experience award is the only national award to have been won by Movistar outright in this report. Its score of 51.5 milliseconds indicated less delay and a more responsive experience than Kölbi's score of 54.7ms and Claro's score of 67.1ms. Movistar’s victory over the previous winner, Kölbi, was due to an increased delay of 5.7 ms reported by our Kölbi users and 0.1 ms improvement reported by their counterparts on Movistar’s network, on average. That said, our users on Claro’s network clocked the largest delay reduction of 6.7ms. Latency measures the delay users experience as data makes a round trip through the network, meaning the lower the latency score, the better and the more responsive the experience.

Latency Experience
in ms The lower the figure the better the latency
Kölbi
54.7
Claro
67.1
Movistar
51.5
0 17.5 35 52.5 70
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Latency Experience
Supporting Metrics
in ms
4G Latency
41.3 (± 0.46) 59.3 (± 0.66) 39.2 (± 0.72)
3G Latency
77.0 (± 2.79) 82.9 (± 2.87) 77.6 (± 3.84)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Latency in ms
41 (± 0.46)
59 (± 0.66)
39 (± 0.72)
3G Latency in ms
77 (± 2.79)
83 (± 2.87)
78 (± 3.84)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

4G Availability

Claro and Movistar became the joint winners of our 4G Availability award. Since the last report, our Claro users observed a modest increase of 1.7 percentage points. In contrast, our Movistar and Kölbi users have seen a decline of 1.7 and 6.9 percentage points, respectively, since our last report. As a result of these changes, Claro and Movistar statistically tied for first place, while Kölbi finished last.

4G Availability
% of time
Kölbi
66.8
Claro
78.1
Movistar
76.6
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Availability shows the proportion of time 4G users spent connected to their 4G network. And since our other metrics are affected by whether the user is connected to 4G, a higher 4G Availability can help improve overall scores and vice versa.

4G Coverage Experience

Kölbi won our 4G Coverage Experience award in Costa Rica, with a score of 7.4 points (on a scale of 0-10). Movistar finished second with 6.9 points, while Claro was further behind with 5.6 points.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Kölbi
7.4
Claro
5.5
Movistar
6.9
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 our 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 Opensignal users across all network operators.

Regional Analysis

In our regional outlook, we analyzed users’ mobile network experience in four regions — Alajuela, Cartago, Heredia, and San José — across Costa Rica.

Kölbi's lead in Download Speed Experience and Video Experience at a national level was reflected in the regions. The operator won our Download Speed Experience in all four regions. Our users on Kölbi’s network reported average download speeds above the operator’s national Download Speed Experience score — 22 Mbps —in Cartago and Heredia— while those in San José observed speeds above 25 Mbps. Kölbi also swept away our Video Experience awards in all four regions, with our users on its network enjoying a Very Good Video Experience in San José, Heredia and Cartago. Meaning our Kölbi users in these three regions observed fast loading times and only occasional stalling compared to their counterparts in other regions and/or on other networks.

Claro was the dominant operator in Voice App Experience, Games Experience and Latency Experience: the operator won all three categories in all four regions outright. That said, there is a lot of room for improvement on Games Experience, as all our winning scores were between 53.2-58.3 — placing them in the Poor category.

We saw a tight competition in 4G Availability: Claro won in Heredia outright and ended up in a dead heat with Movistar in the remaining regions.

Select any region or city below to display individual breakdown

Alajuela

Video Experience
in Alajuela
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
57.9
Claro
50.0
Movistar
53.1
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Games Experience
in Alajuela
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
37.8
Claro
53.2
Movistar
35.7
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Voice App Experience
in Alajuela
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
71.4
Claro
77.8
Movistar
70.4
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Download Speed Experience
in Alajuela
in Mbps
Kölbi
18.8
Claro
10.8
Movistar
7.8
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Upload Speed Experience
in Alajuela
in Mbps
Kölbi
5.5
Claro
5.4
Movistar
4.1
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Latency Experience
in Alajuela
in ms
Kölbi
57.4
Claro
75.6
Movistar
55.0
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4G Availability
in Alajuela
% of time
Claro
69.7
Kölbi
59.8
Movistar
73.8
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Cartago

Video Experience
in Cartago
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
65.6
Claro
56.5
Movistar
54.4
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Games Experience
in Cartago
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
40.1
Claro
56.9
Movistar
36.5
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Voice App Experience
in Cartago
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
73.1
Claro
79.3
Movistar
71.4
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Download Speed Experience
in Cartago
in Mbps
Kölbi
24.2
Claro
12.9
Movistar
8.1
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Upload Speed Experience
in Cartago
in Mbps
Kölbi
7.4
Claro
7.7
Movistar
5.3
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Latency Experience
in Cartago
in ms
Kölbi
49.1
Claro
63.3
Movistar
51.5
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4G Availability
in Cartago
% of time
Claro
77.0
Kölbi
75.7
Movistar
82.3
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Heredia

Video Experience
in Heredia
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
67.6
Claro
61.6
Movistar
58.3
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Games Experience
in Heredia
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
40.4
Claro
58.1
Movistar
37.9
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Voice App Experience
in Heredia
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
73.8
Claro
79.2
Movistar
73.2
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Download Speed Experience
in Heredia
in Mbps
Kölbi
23.9
Claro
14.2
Movistar
9.1
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Upload Speed Experience
in Heredia
in Mbps
Kölbi
7.1
Claro
7.7
Movistar
5.0
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Latency Experience
in Heredia
in ms
Kölbi
46.2
Claro
60.3
Movistar
47.5
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4G Availability
in Heredia
% of time
Claro
84.3
Kölbi
70.8
Movistar
79.6
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San Jose

Video Experience
in San Jose
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
66.4
Claro
57.0
Movistar
58.8
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Games Experience
in San Jose
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
40.9
Claro
58.3
Movistar
38.6
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Voice App Experience
in San Jose
in 0-100 points
Kölbi
73.8
Claro
79.0
Movistar
73.8
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Download Speed Experience
in San Jose
in Mbps
Kölbi
25.1
Claro
12.4
Movistar
8.6
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Upload Speed Experience
in San Jose
in Mbps
Kölbi
7.3
Claro
7.0
Movistar
5.6
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Latency Experience
in San Jose
in ms
Kölbi
46.2
Claro
63.4
Movistar
42.8
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4G Availability
in San Jose
% of time
Claro
83.1
Kölbi
73.7
Movistar
82.4
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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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