Mobile Network Experience Report Sri Lanka February 2021

Sri Lanka

Mobile Network Experience Report
February 2021

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

Our Mobitel users enjoy the best Video Experience in Sri Lanka

In our last report, Mobitel statistically tied with Airtel on Video Experience, but since then, our users across all four networks reported slight declines in this measure of mobile network experience likely due to the many challenges faced by everyone in 2020. Mobitel users’ experience was the most resilient and as a result Mobitel now wins our Video Experience award with a score of 52.4 points. It continued to place in the Fair category along with Dialog (46.9) and Airtel (46.6). Our Airtel users saw the greatest decline of six points (on a 100 point scale), and their peers on Mobitel saw their score fall by 2.1 points, while Hutch and Dialog’s scores only dipped slightly by 0.9 to one point.

Sri Lanka’s 4G Availability is improving

Once again, Mobitel and Dialog jointly win our 4G Availability award with statistically tied scores. Altogether, the level of 4G access in Sri Lanka continues to grow, as our users saw improvement in 4G Availability across the board since the last report. While Mobitel and Dialog’s scores have increased by 3.7 and 1.4 percentage points, respectively, the greatest improvement of 8.8 percentage points was observed by our users on Hutch’s network.

Sri Lanka’s Games Experience has room for improvement

Mobitel has held on to Opensignal’s Games Experience award. The operator scored 45.4 points out of a possible 100 and beat second-placed Dialog by a significant 6.3 points. These scores mean playing multiplayer mobile games over wireless networks remains challenging for our users across all four networks in Sri Lanka and that there is considerable room for improvement in this measure of the mobile experience.

Sri Lankan users’ average download speeds have improved significantly on three out of four networks

Mobitel has become the first operator in the country to have a Download Speed Experience score above 10 Mbps since February 2020 due to a 1.6 Mbps (17.7%) increase in the average download speeds our Mobitel users have observed since last report. This increase also extended Mobitel’s lead over its closest rival Dialog — from 1.1 Mbps to 2.1 Mbps — as our Dialog users saw an incremental change of 0.7 Mbps (8.6%) with speeds averaging 8.6 Mbps. That said, the most significant improvement, in percentage terms, was seen by our Hutch users — an increase of 0.8 Mbps (20.8%) to score 4.6 Mbps.

Introduction

In our latest look at the mobile network experience in Sri Lanka, Mobitel continues to hold the lion’s share of our awards — the operator won four out of seven award categories outright. Mobitel held onto those for Games Experience, Voice App Experience and Download Speed Experience and gained a new award for Video Experience. Mobitel also jointly won our 4G Availability award with Dialog. Meanwhile, Dialog held on to our Upload Speed Experience and 4G Coverage Experience awards.

In the future, as Airtel prepares to launch 4G services in Sri Lanka using its newly acquired spectrum in the 850 MHz band, it will be interesting to see how this competition between operators develops and how it will affect the mobile network landscape and user experience in the country.

In this report, we've analyzed our data gathered in the 90 days from the start of October 2020 to see how Sri Lanka’s four national operators — Airtel, Dialog, Hutch and Mobitel — measure up. As this period includes the introduction of (new COVID-19 measures) in some parts of the country, it also indicates to what degree the country’s mobile experience has weathered the resulting changes in people’s data consumption habits and locations.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Sri Lanka
February 2021, Sri Lanka 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
February 2021, Sri Lanka
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Coverage Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
February 2021, Sri Lanka
4G Availability
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Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Mobitel
52.4
Dialog
46.9
Airtel
46.6
Hutch
35.8
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

Since our last report, our Sri Lankan users have reported a slight decline in Video Experience across the board. Given the challenges we have seen around the world due to COVID-19 such small changes are impressive and highlight the resilience of Sri Lanka’s mobile network experience.

Our users on Airtel saw the largest drop of six points, followed by a 2.1 points decrease seen by their Mobitel counterparts. Our Dialog and Hutch users also saw a modest decline of 0.9 to 1 points. As a consequence of which Mobitel broke the two-way statistical tie between it and Airtel, which we had seen in our last report, and won our Video Experience award outright.

However, these declines in scores did not affect the overall Video Experience ratings of all four operators. The Video Experience continues to be rated Fair on Mobitel (52.4 points), Dialog (46.9 points), and Airtel’s (46.6 points) networks, while Hutch remains in last place with a score below 40 points.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Mobitel
52.4
Dialog
46.9
Airtel
46.6
Hutch
35.8
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Video Experience
Additional Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Video Experience
55.7 (± 0.93) 51.2 (± 0.82) 45.0 (± 2.39)
3G Video Experience
39.8 (± 2.56) 32.2 (± 1.87) 46.6 (± 2.32) 26.5 (± 2.00)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | February 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
56 (± 0.93)
51 (± 0.82)
45 (± 2.39)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
40 (± 2.56)
32 (± 1.87)
47 (± 2.32)
26 (± 2.00)
Mobile Network Experience Report | February 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Breaking down the Video Experience by network technology type, we saw similar declines on the sub-metric scores as we saw in the overall results. However, these were not large enough to change the ratings for 4G Video Experience compared to our previous report. Mobitel placed in the Good category, while Dialog and Hutch placed in the Fair category. In contrast to our national scores, the 3G-only operator Airtel topped 3G Video Experience, followed by Mobitel (39.8) and Airtel (32.2), while Hutch was last-placed with a score of 26.5 points.

Opensignal’s Video Experience metric quantifies video streaming quality by measuring real-world video streams across a range of content delivery networks such as YouTube, 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 users enjoyed an acceptable experience when streaming mobile video at lower resolutions, but loading times may have been slow and stalling may have occurred, especially at higher resolutions. And as we descend to the Fair rating, loading times get longer and users encounter more stops and stutters in video streams, most notably at higher resolutions.

Games Experience

Playing multiplayer mobile games in Sri Lanka continues to remain challenging for our users on all four networks. Mobitel held on to our Opensignal Games Experience award with a score of 45.4 out of a possible 100. The mobile Games Experience of our users on Dialog, Airtel and Hutch continued to lag that seen on Mobitel’s network.

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Mobitel
45.4
Dialog
39.0
Airtel
33.4
Hutch
35.5
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Games Experience
Additional Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Games Experience
52.0 (± 1.16) 44.7 (± 0.73) 37.1 (± 0.84)
3G Games Experience
35.3 (± 0.47) 32.6 (± 0.28) 33.4 (± 0.41) 34.3 (± 0.54)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | February 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Games Experience in 0-100 points
52 (± 1.16)
45 (± 0.73)
37 (± 0.84)
3G Games Experience in 0-100 points
35 (± 0.47)
33 (± 0.28)
33 (± 0.41)
34 (± 0.54)
Mobile Network Experience Report | February 2021 | © 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 PUBG or Garena FreeFire and 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

Mobitel held on to our Voice App Experience, with a score of 75 points (out of 100). Our users on its network saw the biggest improvement of 2.8 points since the last report, which was good enough to tip the Voice App Experience rating from Poor to Acceptable. Our Dialog users also saw an improvement of 2.6 points, and their peers on Hutch saw a fractional decline of 0.9 points, while those on Airtel saw a significant decrease of 5.5 points. As a result of this, the Dialog and Hutch continued to place in the Poor category, while Airtel’s Voice app rating went down from Poor to Very Poor.

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.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Mobitel
75.0
Dialog
71.3
Airtel
64.4
Hutch
67.7
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Voice App Experience
Additional Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Voice App Experience
76.6 (± 0.47) 73.9 (± 0.40) 68.8 (± 1.38)
3G Voice App Experience
68.8 (± 1.24) 62.3 (± 0.99) 64.4 (± 1.42) 66.6 (± 1.65)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | February 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
77 (± 0.47)
74 (± 0.40)
69 (± 1.38)
3G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
69 (± 1.24)
62 (± 0.99)
64 (± 1.42)
67 (± 1.65)
Mobile Network Experience Report | February 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

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

Since our last report, our Sri Lankan users’ average download speeds have improved significantly on three out of four networks. Mobitel has comfortably retained our Download Speed Experience award with a score of 10.7 Mbps, with our users reporting a 1.6 Mbps or 17.7% increase in the average speeds seen on its network. The average download speeds experienced by our users on Dialog (8.6 Mbps) and Hutch (4.6 Mbps) also improved by 0.7 Mbps (8.6%) and 0.8 Mbps (20.8%), respectively. Conversely, those on Airtel saw their average speeds dip by 0.5 Mbps (9.4%) down to 5.1 Mbps.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Mobitel
10.7
Dialog
8.6
Airtel
5.1
Hutch
4.6
0 3.75 7.5 11.25 15
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
Additional Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
12.4 (± 0.34) 10.1 (± 0.18) 6.7 (± 0.38)
3G Download Speed
4.4 (± 0.21) 3.5 (± 0.10) 5.1 (± 0.23) 2.4 (± 0.10)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | February 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
12 (± 0.34)
10 (± 0.18)
7 (± 0.38)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
4 (± 0.21)
4 (± 0.10)
5 (± 0.23)
2 (± 0.10)
Mobile Network Experience Report | February 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

When we look at Download Speed Experience split by network type, in 4G Download Speed Experience our users on Mobitel saw the fastest average download speeds of 12.4 Mbps, while those on Dialog and Hutch saw scores of 10.1 Mbps and 6.7 Mbps, respectively. Meanwhile, Airtel led our 3G Download Speed Experience with a score of 5.1 Mbps, followed by Mobitel (4.4 Mbps), Dialog (3.5 Mbps) and Hutch (2.4 Mbps).

Upload Speed Experience

Dialog once again won our Upload Speed Experience award, and fairly comfortably with our users observing average speeds of 4.6 Mbps on its network — 2-4 Mbps faster than the speeds seen by their peers on Mobitel, Hutch and Airtel’s network.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Mobitel
2.6
Dialog
4.6
Airtel
0.6
Hutch
1.6
0 1.25 2.5 3.75 5
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Additional Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
3.1 (± 0.11) 5.8 (± 0.11) 2.5 (± 0.16)
3G Upload Speed
0.6 (± 0.04) 0.7 (± 0.04) 0.6 (± 0.03) 0.7 (± 0.04)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | February 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
3 (± 0.11)
6 (± 0.11)
3 (± 0.16)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
1 (± 0.04)
1 (± 0.04)
1 (± 0.03)
1 (± 0.04)
Mobile Network Experience Report | February 2021 | © 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.

4G Availability

Once again, Mobitel and Dialog statistically tied on our measure of the proportion of time 4G users spent connected to a 4G service, on average. Our Mobitel and Dialog users have seen their 4G Availability improve by 3.7 and 1.4 percentage points, respectively, and as a result, both their scores are bordering around the 80% mark. However, our Hutch users saw the largest improvement in 4G Availability, which rose by 8.8 percentage points to 68.1%.

4G Availability
% of time
Mobitel
80.2
Dialog
79.2
Hutch
68.1
0 21.25 42.5 63.75 85
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Coverage Experience

Dialog won our 4G Coverage Experience award, with a score of 8.3 points (on a scale of 0-10), while Mobitel and Hutch were further behind at 6.9 points and 3.5 points, respectively. Our users across all three 4G networks saw improvement on this measure — Dialog’s score grew by 0.3 points, while Mobitel and Hutch’s score surged by 0.6 points.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Mobitel
6.9
Dialog
8.3
Hutch
3.5
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 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 of all network operators.

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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