Italy

Mobile Network Experience Report
May 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
Francesco Rizzato Principal Technical Analyst

Key findings

Vodafone edges out WindTre to win the Video Experience award

Vodafone wins the Video Experience award, scoring 72 points. It achieved a 0.3 points lead on second-placed WindTre — which previously won the award in our November report. However, less than two points separate the four national operators, indicating that the competition for this award is very high.

Vodafone wins all three experiential awards: Games, Voice App and Video Experience

By edging out WindTre in Opensignal’s measure of Video Experience, Vodafone is now the sole winner of all three experiential awards that measure users’ mobile experience with different types of services on their smartphones: Video Experience, Games Experience and Voice App Experience.

Iliad exceeds the 90% 4G Availability mark, joining the other operators

All four operators showed improvements to their 4G Availability scores in the past six months, and Iliad notably topped the 90% mark in 4G Availability for the first time — the last operator to achieve this feat in Italy. This means that our 4G users on all four operators were able to connect to 4G services more than 90% of the time. Vodafone is the winner of the 4G Availability award and it saw the largest improvement in 4G Availability since our previous report.

WindTre wins both Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience

WindTre was the only operator in Italy to score above the 30 Mbps threshold in Download Speed Experience, and above the 10 Mbps mark in Upload Speed Experience. While WindTre still holds a considerable lead over its competitors on both metrics, other operators managed to substantially reduce the gap, compared to our previous report.

TIM hangs on to its joint win in 4G Coverage Experience with Vodafone

In our last few reports, TIM has seemingly been driving in a different gear compared to the other Italian mobile operators. Just three reports ago, TIM used to dominate our awards table, but while our users’ mobile experience on other operators has improved, the experience using TIM has fallen behind. In this report, TIM secures a single joint win in 4G Coverage Experience with Vodafone, replicating its result in our last report when TIM shared that award with Vodafone and WindTre.

Introduction

In the last six months Italy’s mobile experience has generally improved as we have seen positive changes across all our seven categories for all four operators — except for Iliad’s Upload Speed Experience score that did not change compared to our November report.

While most Opensignal awards featured the same winner as in the last report, this time Vodafone made the news by winning the Video Experience award after ranking in third-place one year ago and second-place in the last report.

This report provides an additional example to why measuring networks’ speeds alone is not enough to understand the full spectrum of users’ mobile experience. In fact, while WindTre wins both of our speed measures — Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience — Vodafone is the winner of all three Experiential awards: Video Experience, Games Experience and Voice App Experience.

Italian mobile operators continue to roll out their 5G networks. After launching its 5G service in the last quarter of 2020, WindTre reported it now covers more than 90% of the population with 5G using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology that enables it to operate with 4G and 5G simultaneously. Vodafone and TIM have focused on rolling out 5G across major Italian cities since they first deployed in June 2019. While Vodafone recently announced it provides 5G services in 25 cities, TIM reported it will expand its 5G offering to more than 20 cities by the year’s end. Iliad was the fourth Italian mobile operator to launch 5G in December 2020, now available in areas across numerous cities.

As 5G gains traction, operators are looking to switch off their 3G networks and repurpose the existing spectrum from 3G services to 4G and 5G services. TIM plans to cease offering 3G services next year while Vodafone switched off 3G during the first quarter of 2021.

In this report we have looked at the 90-day data period beginning January 1, 2021 and ending March 31, 2021, and measured the user experience across all our key metrics for Italy’s four leading operators — Iliad, TIM, Vodafone and WindTre — both at a national level and across the country’s six macro regions. We have used 5G measurements in addition to those from previous generations of mobile network technology when determining the overall scores for each award category.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Italy
May 2021, Italy 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
May 2021, Italy
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
May 2021, Italy
4G Coverage Experience
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Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Iliad
70.5
TIM
70.1
Vodafone
72.0
WindTre
71.7
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

Vodafone’s Video Experience score increased by three points from the previous report to reach 72 points. That was just enough for Vodafone to push ahead and win the award with a 0.3 points lead over second-placed WindTre. Interestingly, in the November report the roles were reversed as WindTre won the award with a 0.5 lead on then second-placed Vodafone. This time, all operators saw their scores improve by 1.6-3.5 points, while in our previous report we observed some very limited declines across all fours operators compared to the report six months before it.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Iliad
70.5
TIM
70.1
Vodafone
72.0
WindTre
71.7
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Competition for this award is getting tougher, with 1.8 points (out of 100) separating the four Italian mobile operators — down from 2.5 points last time — and all of them landing in the Very Good (65-75) Video Experience category.

Games Experience

Vodafone keeps hold of our Games Experience award with a score of 71.4 points, but its lead on second-placed TIM decreased from 2.2 points in our previous report to 1.9 points. TIM scored 69.5 points, while WindTre and Iliad scored 65.4 and 65.1 points, respectively. In this report Iliad joined the other mobile operators in the Fair (65-75) category for Games Experience after rating Poor (40-65) in our last report.

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Iliad
65.1
TIM
69.5
Vodafone
71.4
WindTre
65.4
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Opensignal's Games Experience measures real-world mobile network conditions to assess the mobile multiplayer games experience felt by users on different networks and scores it on a 0-to-100-point scale. 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 and Arena of Valor — played around the world.

Voice App Experience

Vodafone wins our Voice App Experience award for the third time in a row, although its lead on the competitors reduced from 0.5 points to 0.3 points. In fact, operators who previously lagged behind in this category have made more substantial improvements this time, which resulted in the four operators' scores placing within 0.6 points — down from1.7 points in our previous report. In particular, our users on Iliad saw good progress in mobile experience with an improvement of 1.9 points compared to the previous report. This increase helped Iliad to move from the last place to second place, now jointly held with TIM.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Iliad
79.4
TIM
79.4
Vodafone
79.7
WindTre
79.1
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Voice App Experience measures the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — mobile voice apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger — using a model derived from the International Telecommunication Union for quantifying overall voice call quality with a series of calibrated technical parameters.

Download Speed Experience

WindTre keeps hold of our Download Speed Experience award, as it was the only Italian operator to score above the 30 Mbps mark. However, in contrast to our previous report, where WindTre recorded an impressive improvement of 4.8 Mbps, this time our users on WindTre saw a more modest increase by 0.6 Mbps and reached 30.7 Mbps. Iliad, on the other hand, continued its steady upwards trend we have been observing since we first reported on the operator in October 2018 as users experienced an increase of 3 Mbps. Iliad is now in second place having scored 27.2 Mbps which is 0.3 Mbps ahead of third-placed Vodafone. TIM’s Download Speed Experience score reached 24.4 Mbps which represents an 0.4 Mbps improvement compared to its score in the last report.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Iliad
27.2
TIM
24.4
Vodafone
26.9
WindTre
30.7
0 8.75 17.5 26.25 35
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Upload Speed Experience

WindTre wins the Upload Speed Experience award with a score of 10.5 Mbps, an increase of 0.7 Mbps compared to our previous report. Vodafone has made an impressive 1.8 Mbps (25.7%) improvement since last time, as its Upload Speed Experience reached 9 Mbps, topping TIM’s 8.7 Mbps. This time we did not observe any significant change in Iliad’s Upload Speed Experience, as the operator scored 6.9 Mbps, which was the same as in the previous report.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Iliad
6.9
TIM
8.7
Vodafone
9.0
WindTre
10.5
0 3.75 7.5 11.25 15
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Availability

Vodafone saw the largest improvement in 4G Availability — with our users seeing an increase of 3.7 percentage points in the time connected to 4G since the last report, partly due to the operator switching off its 3G network. As a result, Vodafone keeps hold of the 4G Availability award with a score of 96.0%. Iliad notably recorded a significant increase of 3.5 percentage points, and was the last Italian mobile operator to exceed the 90% mark in 4G Availability. WindTre and TIM also recorded 0.6-1.2 percentage points improvements and scored 90.9% and 91.5%, respectively.

4G Availability
% of time
Iliad
90.2
TIM
91.5
Vodafone
96.0
WindTre
90.9
0 25 50 75 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Coverage Experience

All four operators have seen their 4G Coverage Experience scores increase since the last report. Iliad showed the largest improvement of 0.3 points, although it is still one point behind the joint winners TIM and Vodafone, who both scored 9.6 points (on a scale of 0-10). In this report, WindTre’s score of 9.5 points was not enough to join TIM and Vodafone in sharing first place — unlike last time when these three operators all jointly won the 4G Coverage Experience award.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Iliad
8.6
TIM
9.6
Vodafone
9.6
WindTre
9.5
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 is a measure of how Opensignal's 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.

Regional Analysis

In our analysis of Italy's six macro regions we saw fierce competition between Vodafone and WindTre. Out of the 36 awards that were up for the taking in total, Vodafone and WindTre win 16 awards and 13 awards outright, respectively; TIM is the sole winner of just one regional award, while the remaining six awards are shared by one or more winners.

Vodafone wins Video Experience awards outright in Central, Sicily and South, while WindTre wins in North East and North West. Vodafone and TIM share the first prize in Sardinia. Despite Vodafone winning the Video Experience award at the national level and collecting half of the regional awards, it was WindTre that recorded the highest Video Experience score in the North East, the only Excellent score (75 points and above) we observed across any region.

Vodafone and TIM are the two main winners in our other two experiential metrics. Vodafone wins four Games Experience regional awards outright and shares the win with TIM in the remaining two regions — North West and Sardinia. Vodafone also wins Voice App Experience in three regions outright, and shares the win in other two regions, while TIM wins outright in North West.

Vodafone wins all six 4G Availability awards, with a 2.8-5.2 percentage points lead. Vodafone was the only operator to exceed the 95% mark in 4G Availability, as it topped that threshold across all geographies except for the Central region. While Iliad, TIM and WindTre all passed the 90% mark at the national level in 4G Availability, all three operators are still seeing two to three regions where our users’ experience did not exceed that threshold.

WindTre dominated in our regional table in both Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience, by winning outright 11 out of the total 12 awards available, and sharing the win with Vodafone in the remaining one. It was our WindTre users in the North East that experienced the fastest Download Speed Experience we recorded across the six regions — 39.7 Mbps.

The North East was also the only region where Iliad and Vodafone scored higher than 30 Mbps, as their Download Speed Experience was 33.1 Mbps and 33.2 Mbps, respectively. We recorded the fastest Upload Speed Experience score of 12.1 Mbps on WindTre’s network in the North East, and WindTre scored higher than 10 Mbps also in the North West and Sicily. TIM was the only other operator to exceed the 10 Mbps threshold in Upload Speed Experience, in the North West.

Select any region or city below to display individual breakdown

Central

Video Experience
in Central
in 0-100 points
Iliad
69.4
TIM
68.9
Vodafone
72.8
WindTre
69.8
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Games Experience
in Central
in 0-100 points
Iliad
63.0
TIM
69.1
Vodafone
70.6
WindTre
61.4
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Voice App Experience
in Central
in 0-100 points
Iliad
78.7
TIM
79.0
Vodafone
79.7
WindTre
78.1
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Download Speed Experience
in Central
in Mbps
Iliad
25.5
TIM
22.7
Vodafone
27.0
WindTre
27.9
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Upload Speed Experience
in Central
in Mbps
Iliad
6.5
TIM
8.0
Vodafone
9.3
WindTre
9.2
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4G Availability
in Central
% of time
Iliad
89.0
TIM
89.6
Vodafone
94.8
WindTre
88.4
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North East

Video Experience
in North East
in 0-100 points
Iliad
73.0
TIM
71.7
Vodafone
73.5
WindTre
75.0
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Games Experience
in North East
in 0-100 points
Iliad
68.8
TIM
70.7
Vodafone
75.8
WindTre
71.5
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Voice App Experience
in North East
in 0-100 points
Iliad
80.3
TIM
79.0
Vodafone
80.3
WindTre
80.5
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Download Speed Experience
in North East
in Mbps
Iliad
33.1
TIM
28.9
Vodafone
33.2
WindTre
39.7
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Upload Speed Experience
in North East
in Mbps
Iliad
7.6
TIM
9.6
Vodafone
9.1
WindTre
12.1
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4G Availability
in North East
% of time
Iliad
91.0
TIM
89.1
Vodafone
96.4
WindTre
92.2
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North West

Video Experience
in North West
in 0-100 points
Iliad
71.5
TIM
73.0
Vodafone
72.4
WindTre
73.7
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Games Experience
in North West
in 0-100 points
Iliad
67.7
TIM
75.7
Vodafone
75.7
WindTre
69.9
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Voice App Experience
in North West
in 0-100 points
Iliad
79.9
TIM
80.6
Vodafone
79.9
WindTre
79.9
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Download Speed Experience
in North West
in Mbps
Iliad
28.2
TIM
29.0
Vodafone
28.1
WindTre
32.8
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Upload Speed Experience
in North West
in Mbps
Iliad
7.1
TIM
10.5
Vodafone
8.9
WindTre
11.9
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4G Availability
in North West
% of time
Iliad
91.1
TIM
92.6
Vodafone
96.3
WindTre
92.5
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Sardinia

Video Experience
in Sardinia
in 0-100 points
Iliad
68.5
TIM
71.4
Vodafone
71.1
WindTre
70.7
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Games Experience
in Sardinia
in 0-100 points
Iliad
63.2
TIM
67.7
Vodafone
68.5
WindTre
63.4
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Voice App Experience
in Sardinia
in 0-100 points
Iliad
78.9
TIM
79.7
Vodafone
79.8
WindTre
78.6
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Download Speed Experience
in Sardinia
in Mbps
Iliad
24.2
TIM
23.8
Vodafone
25.4
WindTre
29.3
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Upload Speed Experience
in Sardinia
in Mbps
Iliad
6.7
TIM
8.4
Vodafone
9.0
WindTre
9.5
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4G Availability
in Sardinia
% of time
Iliad
89.7
TIM
92.2
Vodafone
95.5
WindTre
89.8
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Sicily

Video Experience
in Sicily
in 0-100 points
Iliad
69.0
TIM
69.7
Vodafone
72.0
WindTre
71.1
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Games Experience
in Sicily
in 0-100 points
Iliad
63.0
TIM
63.0
Vodafone
68.1
WindTre
64.6
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Voice App Experience
in Sicily
in 0-100 points
Iliad
79.4
TIM
79.3
Vodafone
80.1
WindTre
79.7
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Download Speed Experience
in Sicily
in Mbps
Iliad
24.5
TIM
22.0
Vodafone
25.9
WindTre
29.1
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Upload Speed Experience
in Sicily
in Mbps
Iliad
6.3
TIM
8.2
Vodafone
9.7
WindTre
10.9
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4G Availability
in Sicily
% of time
Iliad
90.3
TIM
93.7
Vodafone
96.5
WindTre
91.7
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South

Video Experience
in South
in 0-100 points
Iliad
68.7
TIM
67.3
Vodafone
69.9
WindTre
68.8
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Games Experience
in South
in 0-100 points
Iliad
61.1
TIM
65.8
Vodafone
66.6
WindTre
59.6
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Voice App Experience
in South
in 0-100 points
Iliad
78.5
TIM
78.5
Vodafone
78.8
WindTre
77.9
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Download Speed Experience
in South
in Mbps
Iliad
24.0
TIM
20.2
Vodafone
22.5
WindTre
25.0
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Upload Speed Experience
in South
in Mbps
Iliad
6.3
TIM
7.4
Vodafone
8.3
WindTre
9.0
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4G Availability
in South
% of time
Iliad
88.9
TIM
92.3
Vodafone
96.0
WindTre
89.7
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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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