Mobile Network Experience Report Switzerland May 2021

Switzerland

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
Sam Fenwick Senior Analyst

Key findings

Salt catches up with Sunrise on download speeds

While Swisscom continues to win the Download Speed Experience award — this time with a score of 54 Mbps, Salt has forced a statistical tie with Sunrise for second place, mostly due to a 3 Mbps (8.6%) increase in the average download speeds observed by our Salt users. As Swisscom’s score has increased the most in absolute terms since our last report — rising by 4.2 Mbps (8.4%) — the operator’s already impressive lead has increased from 12.2 Mbps to at least 16.2 Mbps.

All three operators place in the Good category for Voice App Experience

This time, Salt, Sunrise and Swisscom have all placed in the Good (80-87) category for Voice App Experience, as Sunrise’s score rose from 79.5 points out of 100 to 80.2. The last time this occurred was in our December 2019 report when we first included Voice App Experience in our mobile network experience reports for Switzerland. Salt and Swisscom have been joint winners for this award ever since, and this report is no exception.

Salt moves into the same category as Swisscom for Games Experience

Our Salt users saw their Games Experience improve by 4.2 points, resulting in a score of 79.1 points. This was enough to tip the operator into the Good (75-85) category for Games Experience. Swisscom, the outright winner for this award, placed in the same category, while Sunrise remained in the Fair (65-75) category. Opensignal’s Games Experience measures the quality of users’ experience when playing multiplayer mobile games over a cellular connection. A Good 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.

Salt earns an Excellent rating for Video Experience

Salt has joined Swisscom — the winner of the Video Experience award — in the Excellent (75 or above) category, due to a 2.3 point increase in its score. In addition, Salt moves into second place as it has broken the statistical tie that existed between it and Sunrise in our last report and Sunrise has remained in the Very Good (65-75) category. An Excellent Video Experience indicates a very consistent experience when streaming video over a cellular connection across all users, video streaming providers and resolutions tested, with fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling.

Sunrise draws level with Salt on upload speeds

In our last report, Salt’s score was ahead of Sunrise’s on Upload Speed Experience, but this time the two operators are statistically tied, with Swisscom remaining in first place. This change occurred due to a 0.7 Mbps (4.9%) drop in the average upload speeds seen by our Salt users to 13.2 Mbps, while Sunrise’s score remained unchanged at 13.1 Mbps. The drop in Salt’s score — combined with a 0.4 Mbps increase in Swisscom’s score — also caused Swisscom’s lead to rise from 3.1 Mbps to at least 4.2 Mbps.

Introduction

Our awards table is unchanged since our last report, with Swisscom successfully defending six awards and statistically tying with Salt for the Voice App Experience award. Looking below the winner’s podium, Salt is in second place for Video Experience and Games Experience, while Sunrise occupies the same position for 4G Availability and 4G Coverage Experience. The two operators are statistically tied on Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience. Clearly, the fight to be the second-best operator for mobile experience in Switzerland is being fiercely fought.

Since our last report, Swisscom has announced that it completed the switch-off of its 2G network in mid-April 2021, after starting the process in January. In early May, Swisscom and Ericsson renewed their strategic partnership and issued a statement saying that ‘the partnership extension is a major step towards transitioning Swisscom’s live 5G network to 5G Standalone (SA) mode’.

The Sunrise-UPC merger has taken place in the formal and legal sense and we have examined the potential implications of the merger for the country’s mobile and fixed broadband markets in a recent insight.

In this report, we examined the mobile network experience of our users on the three main mobile network operators in Switzerland: Swisscom, Sunrise and Salt, over the 90 day period beginning February 1, 2021, and ending May 1, 2021, to see how they fared. We delved deeper into six 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
May 2021, 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
May 2021, Switzerland
Video Experience
Games Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
May 2021, Switzerland
Voice App Experience
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Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Salt
76.2
Sunrise
73.7
Swisscom
78.4
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 is the winner of the Video Experience award for the fourth time in a row. The operator wins this time with a score of 78.4 points and a lead of 2.1 points over second-placed Salt. However, Swisscom’s lead has fallen since our last report, when it commanded a lead of at least 3.3 points. This was driven by a 2.3 point increase in Salt’s score which enabled it to break the statistical tie that existed between it and Sunrise for second place in our last report. This increase also pushed Salt into the same category as Swisscom — Excellent (75 or above), while Sunrise remained in the Very Good (65-75) category. Swisscom and Sunrise’s scores rose by 1.1 and 0.5 points, respectively.

An Excellent Video Experience indicates a very consistent experience when streaming video over a cellular connection 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, means that our users experienced generally fast loading times and only occasional stalling. However, the experience might have been somewhat inconsistent across users and/or video providers/resolutions.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Salt
76.2
Sunrise
73.7
Swisscom
78.4
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Games Experience

Swisscom is once again the winner when it comes to the Games Experience award. It remains the only operator to have won it since we introduced the award to our Switzerland mobile network experience reports a year ago. Salt is in second place, as it had been in our previous two reports. However, this time around Salt has joined Swisscom in the Good (75-85) category, due to a 4.2 point increase in its score. Sunrise, on the other hand, has remained in the Fair (65-75) category. As Swisscom’s score rose less than Salt’s did — an increase of 2.8 points — its lead dropped from 4.5 points to 3.2 points.

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Salt
79.1
Sunrise
73.4
Swisscom
82.2
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Opensignal’s Games Experience 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

As has been the case ever since we added the Voice App Experience award to our Swiss mobile network experience reports, Salt and Swisscom are joint winners, this time with statistically tied scores of 81.7 and 81.8 points, respectively. Sunrise wasn’t far behind with a score of 80.2. Our users have seen improvements of 0.7-0.9 points since our last report, depending on their choice of operator and this has moved Sunrise up a category — from Acceptable (74-80) to Good (80-87). Salt and Swisscom have both kept their Good ratings.

A Good rating for Voice App Experience indicates that many users were satisfied. However, minor quality impairments were experienced by some users. Sometimes the background was not quite clear, it could have been either hazy or not loud enough. Clicking sounds or distortion were very occasionally present.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Salt
81.7
Sunrise
80.2
Swisscom
81.8
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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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 has held the Download Speed Experience award ever since our June 2018 report and this remains the case. The operator’s score has increased the most in absolute terms since our last report — rising by 4.2 Mbps (8.4%) to 54 Mbps. Salt’s score rose by 3 Mbps (8.6%), while Sunrise’s dropped by 0.3 Mbps (0.7%). This led to a statistical tie between Salt and Sunrise for second place, while the increase in the average download speeds observed by our Swisscom users widened the operator’s lead by around 4 Mbps — from 12.2 Mbps to at least 16.2 Mbps.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Salt
37.8
Sunrise
37.3
Swisscom
54.0
0 13.75 27.5 41.25 55
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Upload Speed Experience

Swisscom wins the Upload Speed Experience outright for the fourth time in a row, this time with a score of 17.5 Mbps — up 0.4 Mbps (2.6%) from our last report. Meanwhile, the average upload speeds observed by our Salt users dropped by 0.7 Mbps (4.9%) while those of their counterparts on Sunrise remained unchanged at 13.1 Mbps. The drop in Salt’s score caused it and Sunrise to be statistically tied for second place. This combined with the increase in Swisscom’s score has caused the latter’s lead to rise from 3.1 Mbps to at least 4.2 Mbps.

While download speeds often receive the most attention, upload speeds are becoming increasingly important as consumer mobile habits shift towards content creation and sharing on popular social media platforms, which gives operators with the best upload speeds a distinct advantage.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Salt
13.2
Sunrise
13.1
Swisscom
17.5
0 5 10 15 20
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Availability

The winner of the 4G Availability award is Swisscom. The operator has now won this award outright for two reports in a row. Swisscom also remains the only operator with a 4G Availability score of 95% or more, due to its score of 95.8%. This means that our Swisscom users spent 95.8% of their time connected to 4G. Salt remains the only operator with a 4G Availability score below 90%. Sunrise and Swisscom both passed that threshold in our June 2019 report, and Swisscom hit the 95% mark in our last report.

All three operators have made modest gains since last time — Salt’s score rose by 0.5 percentage points to 88.2%, while Swisscom and Sunrise’s scores both increased by 0.8 percentage points to 95.8% and 93.9%, respectively.

4G Availability
% of time
Salt
88.2
Sunrise
93.9
Swisscom
95.8
0 25 50 75 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Coverage Experience

Little has changed in terms of 4G Coverage Experience since our last report, as Swisscom remains the winner and Sunrise is still in second place. In addition, both operators’ scores are unchanged since our last report, with Swisscom still 0.1 points short of a perfect 10 and Sunrise still on 9.6 points. Salt’s score ticked up slightly from 9.2 points to 9.3.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Salt
9.3
Sunrise
9.6
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

In our analysis of the mobile experience in six of Switzerland’s largest cities — Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Lugano and Zurich — Swisscom’s dominance at the national level is reflected at the city level. The operator wins 16 of the 36 awards that were available outright, including all six of the awards for Download Speed Experience and five for Upload Speed Experience. The only city where Swisscom does not win outright on Upload Speed Experience is Basel, where it statistically ties with Salt. In contrast, both Salt and Sunrise do not win any city-level awards outright, though they pick up 12 and nine joint wins, respectively.

Swisscom wins outright in Video Experience in three cities — Bern, Geneva and Zurich — and is a joint winner alongside Salt in Basel and Lugano. Sunrise and Swisscom are joint winners in Lausanne. Our Swisscom users reported an Excellent Video Experience in all six cities. Salt was just one city away from achieving the same feat, as it obtained Excellent ratings in all but Geneva where it placed in the Very Good (65-75) category instead. Sunrise fared somewhat worse, with a 50/50 split between Excellent and Very Good ratings across the six cities.

The city-level contest over Games Experience was more competitive with Swisscom racking up just a single outright win in Bern. However, the operator is a joint winner in the remaining five cities, alongside Salt in four cities and Sunrise in Geneva. Our Swisscom users in Basel, Bern and Zurich enjoyed an Excellent Games Experience (85 or above) — our highest rating — while the operator’s scores in the remaining cities placed in the next category down — Good (75-85). Meanwhile our Salt users reported a Good Games Experience in all six cities, while Sunrise placed in the same category in four cities, with the exceptions being Basel and Lugano, where it received Fair (65-75) ratings instead.

No operator wins a city-level award for Voice App Experience outright, but Swisscom is a joint winner in all six cities. Salt isn’t far from the same mark, being a joint winner in five cities — the exception being Bern, where Sunrise and Swisscom are joint winners. In addition to Bern, Sunrise is a joint winner in Geneva where our users observed a three-way tie between the operators. Our Swisscom and Salt users had a Good (80-87) Voice App Experience in all six cities, in line with their national ratings. However Sunrise had an even split at the city-level between Good and Acceptable (74-80) ratings.

Swisscom dominates at the city-level in terms of Download Speed Experience, winning outright in all six cities. The average speeds observed by our Swisscom users ranged from 54.1 Mbps in Geneva to 64.1 Mbps in Basel. Sunrise’s city-level scores were above 40 Mbps in five cities, except Lugano where our Sunrise users reported average download speeds of 32.7 Mbps. In contrast, Salt scored 40 Mbps or more in only three cities — Basel (40 Mbps), Bern (42.9 Mbps) and Zurich (43.1 Mbps).

Nearly the same story played out for Upload Speed Experience. Swisscom is the outright winner in all but Basel, where it is a joint winner with Salt. In addition, in all six cities, our Swisscom users observed average upload speeds of 20 Mbps or higher. In contrast, our Salt users reported speeds of between 18.7 and 11.7 Mbps and their counterparts on Sunrise observed speeds between 17.3 Mbps and 11.1 Mbps.

Turning finally to 4G Availability, Swisscom is an outright winner in Lausanne and a joint winner with Sunrise in the remaining five cities. Our users in all six cities on both operators’ networks spent more than 90% of their time connected to 4G. Swisscom also surpassed the 95% mark in four cities (the exceptions being Geneva and Zurich — though the latter was close with a score of 94.8%) and Sunrise did the same in Basel and Geneva. The proportion of time that our Salt users spent connected to 4G ranged from 90.2% in Bern to 84.5% in Lugano.

Select any region or city below to display individual breakdown

Basel

Video Experience
in Basel
in 0-100 points
Salt
78.6
Sunrise
74.5
Swisscom
80.3
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Games Experience
in Basel
in 0-100 points
Salt
82.1
Sunrise
70.1
Swisscom
86.8
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Voice App Experience
in Basel
in 0-100 points
Salt
82.8
Sunrise
79.2
Swisscom
83.6
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Download Speed Experience
in Basel
in Mbps
Salt
40.0
Sunrise
45.9
Swisscom
64.1
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Upload Speed Experience
in Basel
in Mbps
Salt
18.7
Sunrise
17.2
Swisscom
22.4
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4G Availability
in Basel
% of time
Salt
89.6
Sunrise
95.2
Swisscom
96.2
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Bern

Video Experience
in Bern
in 0-100 points
Salt
75.3
Sunrise
76.8
Swisscom
80.0
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Games Experience
in Bern
in 0-100 points
Salt
77.9
Sunrise
78.9
Swisscom
86.0
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Voice App Experience
in Bern
in 0-100 points
Salt
81.2
Sunrise
82.7
Swisscom
83.6
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Download Speed Experience
in Bern
in Mbps
Salt
42.9
Sunrise
46.4
Swisscom
55.9
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Upload Speed Experience
in Bern
in Mbps
Salt
15.6
Sunrise
17.2
Swisscom
21.5
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4G Availability
in Bern
% of time
Salt
90.2
Sunrise
94.5
Swisscom
96.0
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Geneva

Video Experience
in Geneva
in 0-100 points
Salt
74.4
Sunrise
73.0
Swisscom
78.5
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Games Experience
in Geneva
in 0-100 points
Salt
75.8
Sunrise
77.3
Swisscom
82.4
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Voice App Experience
in Geneva
in 0-100 points
Salt
81.5
Sunrise
81.0
Swisscom
81.5
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Download Speed Experience
in Geneva
in Mbps
Salt
37.7
Sunrise
42.8
Swisscom
54.1
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Upload Speed Experience
in Geneva
in Mbps
Salt
14.5
Sunrise
16.4
Swisscom
20.4
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4G Availability
in Geneva
% of time
Salt
84.7
Sunrise
96.0
Swisscom
93.8
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Lausanne

Video Experience
in Lausanne
in 0-100 points
Salt
75.0
Sunrise
78.7
Swisscom
80.0
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Games Experience
in Lausanne
in 0-100 points
Salt
83.9
Sunrise
75.9
Swisscom
84.4
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Voice App Experience
in Lausanne
in 0-100 points
Salt
83.2
Sunrise
79.6
Swisscom
82.2
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Download Speed Experience
in Lausanne
in Mbps
Salt
39.9
Sunrise
44.5
Swisscom
61.7
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Upload Speed Experience
in Lausanne
in Mbps
Salt
15.3
Sunrise
17.3
Swisscom
23.4
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4G Availability
in Lausanne
% of time
Salt
88.1
Sunrise
90.6
Swisscom
96.4
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Lugano

Video Experience
in Lugano
in 0-100 points
Salt
76.8
Sunrise
73.7
Swisscom
78.4
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Games Experience
in Lugano
in 0-100 points
Salt
82.3
Sunrise
70.3
Swisscom
82.2
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Voice App Experience
in Lugano
in 0-100 points
Salt
83.0
Sunrise
79.2
Swisscom
83.1
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Download Speed Experience
in Lugano
in Mbps
Salt
37.6
Sunrise
32.7
Swisscom
58.0
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Upload Speed Experience
in Lugano
in Mbps
Salt
11.7
Sunrise
11.1
Swisscom
20.0
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4G Availability
in Lugano
% of time
Salt
84.5
Sunrise
93.4
Swisscom
96.5
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Zurich

Video Experience
in Zurich
in 0-100 points
Salt
76.3
Sunrise
76.6
Swisscom
79.2
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Games Experience
in Zurich
in 0-100 points
Salt
83.3
Sunrise
77.6
Swisscom
86.0
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Voice App Experience
in Zurich
in 0-100 points
Salt
82.8
Sunrise
81.1
Swisscom
83.3
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Download Speed Experience
in Zurich
in Mbps
Salt
43.1
Sunrise
43.9
Swisscom
61.1
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Upload Speed Experience
in Zurich
in Mbps
Salt
15.7
Sunrise
15.8
Swisscom
21.5
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4G Availability
in Zurich
% of time
Salt
88.4
Sunrise
93.9
Swisscom
94.8
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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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