Mobile Network Experience Report Switzerland December 2020

Switzerland

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
Sam Fenwick Senior Analyst

Key findings

Swisscom edges into the lead and wins 4G Availability

Swisscom is now the sole winner of our 4G Availability award after statistically tying for first place with Sunrise in our last report. This occurred due to a one percentage point drop in the proportion of time that our Sunrise users spent connected to 4G services and a 0.4 percentage point increase in Swisscom’s 4G Availability score. As a result, Swisscom has become the first Swiss operator to hit the 95% mark for this measure of the mobile experience — a remarkable achievement.

Sunrise and Salt make good progress on average download speeds

Sunrise and Salt’s Download Speed Experience scores have increased significantly since last time. Sunrise’s score rose by 3.4 Mbps (9.9%), while Salt’s increased by 2.7 Mbps (8.2%). As Swisscom’s score increased by just 0.2 Mbps, Sunrise has eaten away at its lead. In our current reporting period, Swisscom’s margin of victory fell by 3.2 Mbps to a still impressive 12.2 Mbps.

Swisscom tightens its grip on our awards table

Swisscom remains the operator with the largest haul of awards as it has successfully defended all five of the awards that it won outright in our previous report — Video Experience, Games Experience, Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience and 4G Coverage Experience. In addition, it has won our 4G Availability award outright after tying with Sunrise in our last report and it continues to share the Voice App Experience award with Salt.

Swisscom dominates for city experience as it has won or tied for every award

In our analysis of the mobile experience in four cities — Basel, Bern, Geneva and Zurich — Swisscom won 11 out of a possible 24 awards outright and was a joint winner for the remainder. It performed particularly strongly in terms of Upload Speed Experience, winning outright in all four cities. For Video Experience, Swisscom was the sole winner in three cities and tied with Salt in Zurich.

Introduction

Swisscom has broken the statistical tie for first place on 4G Availability that existed between it and Sunrise in our last report. In addition, the operator has retained our Video Experience, Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience awards along with the two awards that were first awarded in our previous report — Games Experience and 4G Coverage Experience.

This time there have been a number of changes that may be a result of the unique circumstances that operators and users face in 2020. It is likely that many of our Swiss users are spending their time in different locations than they did pre-COVID-19 which may have affected the results this time. For example, users may be spending less time in locations where operators have invested the most heavily in mobile infrastructure such as city centers and instead are spending more time in rural or suburban locations.

The headwinds that operators face from COVID-19 makes the increases our Sunrise and Salt users have seen in their average download speeds all the more impressive. Sunrise users speeds rose by 3.4 Mbps (9.9%), while our users on Salt saw their experience improve by 2.7 Mbps (8.2%) since our last report..

In this report, we examined the mobile network experience of the three main mobile network operators in Switzerland: Swisscom, Sunrise and Salt, over 90 days beginning August 1, 2020, to see how they fared, and delved deeper into four cities, comparing the results of these three operators. We have included our users’ 5G experience measurements in our overall metric categories to understand the true user experience.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Switzerland
December 2020, Switzerland 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
December 2020, Switzerland
Video Experience
Games Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
December 2020, Switzerland
Voice App Experience
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Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
73.2
Salt
74.0
Swisscom
77.3
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

Swisscom has now won our Video Experience award outright for three reports in a row, this time with a score of 77.3 points. Salt and Sunrise scored 74 and 73.2 points, respectively, and the two operators are statistically tied for second-place. Swisscom’s margin of victory is at least 3.3 points, only slightly down from that seen in our last report when Sunrise came second and Salt came third.

All three operators have retained the same ratings since our last report, despite small falls in both Sunrise and Swisscom’s scores. As a result, Swisscom remains the only Swiss operator with our highest possible rating — Excellent (75 or above) — for this measure of the mobile experience, while its two rivals have to make do with the next highest category — Very Good (65-75).

An Excellent rating means that there was a very consistent experience across all users, video streaming providers and resolutions tested, with fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling. A Very Good rating on the other hand indicates generally fast loading times and only occasional stalling but the experience may have been somewhat inconsistent across users and/or video providers/resolutions.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
73.2
Salt
74.0
Swisscom
77.3
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
74.7 (± 0.56) 76.6 (± 0.51) 78.1 (± 0.26)
3G Video Experience
52.6 (± 3.62) 53.7 (± 3.43) 64.1 (± 2.18)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
75 (± 0.56)
77 (± 0.51)
78 (± 0.26)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
53 (± 3.62)
54 (± 3.43)
64 (± 2.18)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Games Experience

Swisscom is once again the winner of our Games Experience award after winning it our previous report — when we first awarded it to a Swiss operator. Salt remains in second place.

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
71.5
Salt
74.9
Swisscom
79.4
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
74.3 (± 0.95) 80.1 (± 0.80) 80.5 (± 0.53)
3G Games Experience
38.1 (± 1.46) 38.9 (± 1.27) 61.9 (± 2.05)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Games Experience in 0-100 points
74 (± 0.95)
80 (± 0.80)
80 (± 0.53)
3G Games Experience in 0-100 points
38 (± 1.46)
39 (± 1.27)
62 (± 2.05)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 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

Salt and Swisscom remain deadlocked, with neither operator being able to break the statistical tie for Voice App Experience that our users have observed ever since we first added this measure of the mobile experience to our Switzerland mobile network experience reports back in December 2019. Similarly, all three operators have placed in the same categories as they did in our previous report, with Salt and Swisscom holding onto their Good (80-87) ratings and Sunrise having to content itself with an Acceptable rating (74-80).

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
79.5
Salt
80.8
Swisscom
81.1
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
80.0 (± 0.37) 82.0 (± 0.41) 81.3 (± 0.25)
3G Voice App Experience
71.8 (± 1.39) 71.4 (± 1.31) 77.4 (± 0.87)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
80 (± 0.37)
82 (± 0.41)
81 (± 0.25)
3G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
72 (± 1.39)
71 (± 1.31)
77 (± 0.87)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 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

Swisscom is once again the winner of our Download Speed Experience award. The operator has held this award ever since it overtook Sunrise in our June 2018 report. This time around, Swisscom’s margin of victory is an impressive 12.2 Mbps, but this is down 3.2 Mbps from the lead of 15.4 Mbps it commanded in our previous report. This is because the average download speeds observed by our Swisscom users increased by just 0.2 Mbps, while second-placed Sunrise’s score rose by 3.4 Mbps (9.9%). Salt has also improved significantly, with its score rising by 2.7 Mbps (8.2%).

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Sunrise
37.6
Salt
34.8
Swisscom
49.8
0 12.5 25 37.5 50
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Download Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
39.9 (± 0.90) 38.4 (± 0.88) 52.4 (± 0.69)
3G Download Speed
4.4 (± 0.30) 6.0 (± 0.39) 7.0 (± 0.25)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
40 (± 0.90)
38 (± 0.88)
52 (± 0.69)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
4 (± 0.30)
6 (± 0.39)
7 (± 0.25)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

Upload Speed Experience

This is the third report in a row in which Swisscom has won the Upload Speed Experience award. This time, our Swisscom users clocked average upload speeds of 17 Mbps. While this is blisteringly fast by international standards, it is down 1.3 Mbps (7.2%) from our previous report. Both Swisscom’s rivals scores’ also fell, with our Salt and Sunrise users seeing declines of 0.3 Mbps (2.1%) and 0.2 Mbps (1.6%), respectively. As Swisscom’s score fell the most its lead over second-placed Salt has dropped by 1 Mbps to a still impressive 3.1 Mbps. Swisscom was recently declared the Global Winner for Upload Speed Experience in oour Global Mobile Network Experience Awards 2020 report.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Sunrise
13.1
Salt
13.9
Swisscom
17.0
0 5 10 15 20
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
13.8 (± 0.30) 15.5 (± 0.34) 17.9 (± 0.24)
3G Upload Speed
1.6 (± 0.14) 1.8 (± 0.18) 2.1 (± 0.10)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
14 (± 0.30)
15 (± 0.34)
18 (± 0.24)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
2 (± 0.14)
2 (± 0.18)
2 (± 0.10)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2020 | © Opensignal Inc.

4G Availability

Swisscom has become the first Swiss operator to hit the 95% mark for 4G Availability, thanks to a 0.4 percentage point increase in the proportion of time that our users on its network spent connected to 4G services. This increase, coupled with a 1 percentage drop in Sunrise’s 4G Availability score, also caused Swisscom to win the 4G Availability award outright, after previously tying with Sunrise for first place in our previous report. Salt’s 4G Availability score has fallen by 1.7 percentage points when compared to that from our last report.

4G Availability
% of time
Sunrise
93.1
Salt
87.8
Swisscom
95.0
0 23.75 47.5 71.25 95
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Coverage Experience

This is the second time in a row in which Swisscom has won the 4G Coverage Experience award. The operator won with a score of 9.9 points — just 0.1 point shy of a perfect score. However, its score has barely moved since our last report — which is unsurprising given the limited room for advancement and the competing distractions of COVID-19 and the need to build out 5G coverage. Our Salt and Sunrise users saw their 4G Coverage Experience improve by 0.1 points, taking the operators’ scores to 9.2 and 9.6, respectively. As a result, Swisscom’s lead has fallen slightly to 0.3 points.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Sunrise
9.6
Salt
9.2
Swisscom
9.9
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 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

Our analysis of the mobile network experience in four of Switzerland’s largest cities — Basel, Bern, Geneva and Zurich — tells a similar story to our national results. Swisscom has again won the lion’s share of awards, including awards for Upload Speed Experience in all four cities. The operator has won 11 city-level awards outright, out of a possible 24 and is a joint winner for the remaining 13. In addition, Swisscom was the only operator to win any city-level awards outright. Sunrise did somewhat better than Salt, racking up nine joint wins to Salt’s six.

Our Swisscom users observed average download speeds above 50 Mbps and average upload speeds above 20 Mbps in all four cities. While our Sunrise users didn’t see the same level of consistency, the operator statistically tied with Swisscom in Bern and Zurich for Download Speed Experience. The difference was more marked in Basel, where Swisscom’s score of 55.9 Mbps was 11.5 Mbps higher than Sunrise’s.

Turning to 4G Availability, Swisscom and Sunrise were joint winners in all four cities. The gap between Salt’s score and that of the front-runners ranged from at least 2.8 percentage points in Bern to at least 8.8 percentage points in Geneva, where our Salt users spent 85% of their time connected to 4G services.

Swisscom won three awards for Video Experience outright and was a joint winner alongside Salt in Zurich. Our Swisscom users had an Excellent Video Experience in all four cities, while our Salt and Sunrise users had the same in two cities apiece — Basel and Bern (Sunrise); and Basel and Zurich (Salt).

Select any region below to display individual breakdown

Basel

Video Experience
in Basel
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
75.8
Salt
75.3
Swisscom
79.5
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Games Experience
in Basel
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
74.4
Salt
80.2
Swisscom
84.5
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Voice App Experience
in Basel
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
81.1
Salt
81.4
Swisscom
82.7
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Download Speed Experience
in Basel
in Mbps
Sunrise
44.4
Salt
31.8
Swisscom
55.9
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Upload Speed Experience
in Basel
in Mbps
Sunrise
16.5
Salt
17.2
Swisscom
23.1
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4G Availability
in Basel
in %
Sunrise
94.0
Salt
90.3
Swisscom
94.9
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Bern

Video Experience
in Bern
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
76.8
Salt
74.4
Swisscom
79.8
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Games Experience
in Bern
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
74.7
Salt
79.2
Swisscom
81.8
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Voice App Experience
in Bern
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
79.8
Salt
82.3
Swisscom
81.9
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Download Speed Experience
in Bern
in Mbps
Sunrise
52.2
Salt
32.5
Swisscom
52.8
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Upload Speed Experience
in Bern
in Mbps
Sunrise
16.3
Salt
14.9
Swisscom
20.5
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4G Availability
in Bern
in %
Sunrise
95.8
Salt
92.1
Swisscom
94.9
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Geneva

Video Experience
in Geneva
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
74.3
Salt
73.2
Swisscom
78.6
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Games Experience
in Geneva
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
75.7
Salt
67.7
Swisscom
82.5
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Voice App Experience
in Geneva
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
80.8
Salt
79.2
Swisscom
82.1
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Download Speed Experience
in Geneva
in Mbps
Sunrise
43.7
Salt
33.7
Swisscom
51.5
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Upload Speed Experience
in Geneva
in Mbps
Sunrise
15.3
Salt
15.4
Swisscom
20.3
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4G Availability
in Geneva
in %
Sunrise
94.9
Salt
85.0
Swisscom
93.7
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Zurich

Video Experience
in Zurich
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
74.5
Salt
76.6
Swisscom
78.0
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Games Experience
in Zurich
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
76.2
Salt
80.0
Swisscom
83.9
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Voice App Experience
in Zurich
in 0-100 points
Sunrise
80.6
Salt
81.6
Swisscom
82.7
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Download Speed Experience
in Zurich
in Mbps
Sunrise
49.3
Salt
39.3
Swisscom
54.3
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Upload Speed Experience
in Zurich
in Mbps
Sunrise
18.3
Salt
16.8
Swisscom
20.6
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4G Availability
in Zurich
in %
Sunrise
94.6
Salt
90.9
Swisscom
94.6
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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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