Mobile Network Experience Report Uruguay May 2021

Uruguay

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
Robert Wyrzykowski Senior Analyst

Key findings

Antel still unbeatable in both speed awards

Antel is the winner of both the Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience awards for the fourth time in a row. Our Antel users experienced download speeds of 22.1 Mbps — 1.2 Mbps faster than in our last report. Claro and Movistar statistically tied for the second place in Download Speed Experience, after an impressive 6.9% increase in measured download speeds for Claro. For upload speeds — Antel and Claro’s scores stalled at 9.0 Mbps and 6.9 Mbps, respectively, while Movistar users observed a slight decline of 0.2 Mbps, down to 7.6 Mbps.

Movistar pulls ahead and wins the Games Experience award outright

In the October 2020 Mobile Network Experience report, all three Uruguayan operators statistically tied for the first place for Games Experience. However, this time, we only have one winner — Movistar wins outright with a score of 70.4 out of 100, with an impressive improvement of 5.4 points (8.4%). Both Antel and Claro statistically tied for second place. All operators placed in the Fair (65-75) category — which means most users felt like they had control over the game but noticed a delay between their actions and the outcomes in the game.

Movistar wins the 4G Availability for the fourth consecutive time, while Antel continues to reign supreme on 4G Coverage Experience

Movistar won the 4G Availability award for the fourth time in a row, with an impressive score of 94.3% — which reflects the proportion of time our users with a 4G device can connect to a 4G connection. The operator extended its lead over the runner-up Antel by 0.6 percentage points, compared to our previous report. However, Antel can celebrate its third outright win in a row on 4G Coverage Experience — a measure that analyzes the locations where customers of a network operator received a 4G signal relative to the locations visited by users of all network operators. Both Movistar and Claro managed to improve their 4G Coverage Experience scores, to 8.3 and 7.3 respectively — but Antel maintained a sizable lead with its score of 9.0, unchanged since our last report.

Our users enjoyed the best Video Experience on Claro’s network

Claro takes first prize in our Video Experience award, with a score of 73.4 — an outright victory this time, as Claro shared this award with Movistar in our last report. Claro’s score improved by 3.2 points (4.5%) based on our Claro users’ experience, which allowed it to secure a 1.3 point lead over a second-placed Movistar. All three operators have continued to place in the Very Good (65-75 points) category, which means generally fast loading times and only occasional stalling for our users when streaming video over mobile networks.

All mobile players in Uruguay moved up from Acceptable to the Good category in Voice App Experience

Claro and Movistar remain joint winners of the Voice App Experience award, having statistically tied with each other back in October 2020. All three operators managed to improve their Voice App Experience scores and move from the Acceptable (74-80) category to Good (80-87) — this means that many users were satisfied with the quality of over-the-top (OTT) voice services of popular communication apps such as WhatsApp or Skype, but some experienced minor quality impairments.

Introduction

In our fourth report on mobile network experience report in Uruguay, every mobile operator wins outright in at least one category. Antel continues to claim both speed awards — Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience — along with the 4G Coverage Experience award. Movistar comes first in 4G Availability and Games Experience — ending the three-way tie for the latter that existed in our last report and claiming sole victory. Claro wins the Video Experience award, while Claro and Movistar remain joint winners for Voice App Experience.

Uruguay made history in April 2019, when Antel claimed to have launched the first 5G network in Latin America, using the 28 GHz band and infrastructure supplied by Nokia. However, Antel’s 5G deployment was pre-commercial, with the limited coverage and targeted at business customers — the operator is yet to offer 5G services to individual smartphone users. Antel’s 5G network is still in the testing phase, with trials conducted in inland areas. The operator has invested heavily in its operations — $134 million in 2020 and plans to spend a further $152 million in 2021, partly to increase its 4G territorial coverage to 99% between 2021 and 2022, especially in towns with less than 500 inhabitants.

Uruguayan policymakers are working on facilitating further 5G roll-outs in the country. URSEC confirmed that the country is preparing on a new 5G-focused spectrum and connectivity policy, to deliver high speed mobile internet services across the country. The regulator will also give permission to mobile operators to proceed with 5G pilots, based on temporarily assigned spectrum in the 26 GHz band — and it is also considering the assignment of the 3.5 GHz band for 5G services.

Antel might have launched 5G in 2019, but it still intends to develop its 4G network. The operator has invested heavily in its operations — $134 million in 2020 and plans to spend a further $152 million in 2021, partly to increase its 4G territorial coverage to 99% between 2021 and 2022, especially in towns with less than 500 inhabitants.

In this report we have examined the mobile network experience of the three main mobile network operators in Uruguay: Antel, Claro and Movistar; over the period of 90 days starting on January 1, 2021 and ending on March 31, 2021.

Opensignal Awards Table

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

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Antel
69.1
Claro
73.4
Movistar
72.1
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

In our previous report, Claro jointly won the Video Experience award with Movistar. This time around, Claro wins outright, with a score of 73.4 — an improvement of 3.2 points (4.5%). Claro defeated Movistar by 1.3 points, as the latter’s score rose by 2.2 points (3.2%). Antel slightly lagged behind but also managed to improve its score by 2.1 points (3.2%). Just like in our last two reports, all operators in the country placed in the Very Good (65-75 points) category, which means generally fast loading times and only occasional stalling for our users when streaming video over mobile networks.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Antel
69.1
Claro
73.4
Movistar
72.1
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
72.8 (± 0.55) 75.7 (± 0.70) 75.1 (± 0.53)
3G Video Experience
48.0 (± 2.19) 64.1 (± 2.46) 56.9 (± 2.98)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
73 (± 0.55)
76 (± 0.70)
75 (± 0.53)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
48 (± 2.19)
64 (± 2.46)
57 (± 2.98)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Looking at our users’ experience broken down by mobile technology generation, our Claro and Movistar users enjoyed an Excellent (75 or above) 4G Video Experience — meaning fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling — while Antel rated as Very Good (65-75). Both Claro and Movistar moved up from the Very Good to Excellent category compared to our October 2020 report, with our Claro users reporting a particularly large improvement of 3.2 points (4.4%).

Video Experience quantifies users’ perceived quality of video streamed to mobile devices on a scale from 0 to 100 by measuring real-world video streams over an operator's network. The videos tested include a mixture of resolutions and are streamed directly from the world’s largest video content providers.

Games Experience

Movistar triumphed this time, with a score of 70.4, beating both Antel and Claro, which statistically tie for second-place. All three operators placed in the Fair (65-75) category — which means most users might have felt like they had control over the game but noticed a delay between their actions and the outcomes in the game. In terms of 4G Games Experience — our Movistar users enjoyed the smoothest experience, with a score of 76.2. This placed the operator in the Good (75-85) category, meaning most users deemed the experience acceptable. The gameplay experience was generally controllable and users received immediate feedback between their actions and the outcomes in the game. Most users did not experience a delay between their actions and the game.

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Antel
65.6
Claro
67.3
Movistar
70.4
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
71.3 (± 0.75) 72.5 (± 1.34) 76.2 (± 0.67)
3G Games Experience
38.8 (± 0.97) 46.6 (± 3.24) 42.2 (± 1.96)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Games Experience in 0-100 points
71 (± 0.75)
72 (± 1.34)
76 (± 0.67)
3G Games Experience in 0-100 points
39 (± 0.97)
47 (± 3.24)
42 (± 1.96)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Opensignal’s Games Experience analyzes how mobile network conditions — including latency, packet loss and jitter — impact the real-time multiplayer mobile gameplay over operators’ networks. 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

All three mobile operators hit or exceeded the 80-point threshold for Voice App Experience, elevating themselves from the Acceptable (74-80) category to Good (80-87) — this means that many users were satisfied with the quality of over-the-top (OTT) voice services, but some experienced minor quality impairments. Claro and Movistar jointly win the Voice App Experience award again, as a result of a statistical tie. With its score of 80 points, Antel wasn’t far behind the joint winners — its users saw a 1.3 point (1.6%) improvement in Voice App Experience from our last report.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Antel
80.0
Claro
80.6
Movistar
81.0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Voice App Experience
Supporting Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Voice App Experience
81.3 (± 0.34) 81.7 (± 0.51) 82.3 (± 0.35)
3G Voice App Experience
72.5 (± 1.03) 76.0 (± 1.50) 74.6 (± 1.28)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
81 (± 0.34)
82 (± 0.51)
82 (± 0.35)
3G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
73 (± 1.03)
76 (± 1.50)
75 (± 1.28)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Opensignal's Voice App Experience measures the quality of experience for OTT voice services — mobile voice apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger — using a model derived from an 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

For the fourth consecutive time, our users in Uruguay enjoyed the fastest Download Speed Experience on Antel’s network — 22.1 Mbps, up 5.8% from our last report. Claro and Movistar statistically tie for second-place — Claro caught up with Movistar thanks to an increase of 1.2 Mbps (6.9%), compared to the more modest rise of 0.1 Mbps (0.5%) experienced by Movistar users. Antel’s network was the only one on which the overall average download speeds observed by our users surpassed 20 Mbps.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Antel
22.1
Claro
18.7
Movistar
19.5
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
25.3 (± 0.48) 21.1 (± 0.55) 22.1 (± 0.53)
3G Download Speed
4.2 (± 0.14) 9.1 (± 0.45) 6.3 (± 0.31)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
25 (± 0.48)
21 (± 0.55)
22 (± 0.53)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
4 (± 0.14)
9 (± 0.45)
6 (± 0.31)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

However, when looking at 4G alone, our users experienced average 4G download speeds over 20 Mbps on all three operators. The highest speeds seen by our users was with Antel — 25.3 Mbps — a 4.8% increase compared to our previous report. Antel beat second-placed Movistar by 3.2 Mbps (14.4%) — the runner-up saw a small decline in average 4G download speeds of 0.7 Mbps (3%). Claro had the third-highest 4G Download Speed score, but our Claro users enjoyed an impressive 7.5% (1.5 Mbps) increase in their average 4G download speeds, which helped the operator cross the 20 Mbps threshold. In terms of 3G Download Speed, our Claro users reported the fastest speeds (9.1 Mbps), while those on Movistar experienced a notable boost of 0.5 Mbps (9.2%).

Upload Speed Experience

When it comes to sending pictures and sharing files over mobile devices in Uruguay, Antel’s users continue to have an unbeatable experience. The operator wins the Upload Experience Award award for the fourth time in a row, this time with a score of 9 Mbps, which was unchanged since our last report. Claro’s score also stagnated, at 6.9 Mbps and our Movistar users saw a minor fall of 0.2 Mbps (2.2%) in their average upload speeds.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Antel
9.0
Claro
6.9
Movistar
7.6
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Supporting Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
10.4 (± 0.18) 8.3 (± 0.26) 9.0 (± 0.22)
3G Upload Speed
1.0 (± 0.05) 1.6 (± 0.11) 0.8 (± 0.05)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
10 (± 0.18)
8 (± 0.26)
9 (± 0.22)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
1 (± 0.05)
2 (± 0.11)
1 (± 0.05)
Mobile Network Experience Report | May 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

In regards to Upload Speed Experience by mobile network technology generation, our Antel users experienced the fastest average 4G upload speeds (10.4 Mbps), which is a small decline of 1.5% compared to the previous report, but Antel remained the only operator in the market above the 10 Mbps milestone. Our users on Movistar observed a drop of 0.6 Mbps (6%) in their average 4G upload speeds, down to 9.0 Mbps.

4G Availability

Our Movistar 4G users spent 94.3% of time connected to 4G which allowed the operator to win the 4G Availability award for the fourth consecutive time. Movistar managed to improve its score by one percentage point and widen its lead over second-placed Antel to 4.3 percentage points. Antel reached the 90% threshold, thanks to a 0.4 percentage point increase, while Claro’s users were able to connect to 4G networks for 88.1% of the time.

4G Availability
% of time
Antel
90.0
Claro
88.1
Movistar
94.3
0 23.75 47.5 71.25 95
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Availability shows the proportion of time users with a 4G device and subscription have a 4G connection. It measures what proportion of time people have a 4G network connection in the places they most commonly frequent, something often missed by traditional coverage metrics.

4G Coverage Experience

Antel claims the 4G Coverage Experience award for the third time in a row — winning every time since we added this award to our Mobile Network Experience reports for Uruguay back in April 2020. Antel achieved a score of 9.0 which is unchanged from our previous report. Movistar saw an increase of 0.2 points and reached a score of 8.3, while Claro improved its score by 0.1 points, up to 7.3.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Antel
9.0
Claro
7.3
Movistar
8.3
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

4G Coverage Experience 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. It measures the mobile coverage experience in all the locations that matter most to everyday users.

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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