Mobile Network Experience Report Bulgaria June 2021

Bulgaria

Mobile Network Experience Report
June 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

Vivacom puts on an impressive burst of speed and forces a tie on Download Speed Experience

In our previous three reports on the Bulgarian mobile experience, A1 was the outright winner of the Download Speed Experience award. This time around, Vivacom has forced a statistical tie as the average speeds seen by our users on its network have increased by 11.2 Mbps (33.2%) to reach 44.8 Mbps since our last report. Meanwhile, the average speeds observed by their A1 counterparts increased by 3.2 Mbps (7.4%) to 46.6 Mbps. Vivacom’s achievement is even more impressive given that last time around the operator was in last place for Download Speed Experience with a score that was 9.7 Mbps lower than A1’s. Telenor’s Download Speed Experience score rose by 3.1 Mbps.

A1 draws level with Vivacom on Games Experience and Voice App Experience

In our previous two reports, Vivacom was the outright winner of both the Games Experience and Voice App Experience awards. This time around, A1 has joined it on the winners’ podium for both awards as the two operators’ scores are statistically tied. For Games Experience, this change was driven by a 3.5 point increase in A1’s score while Vivacom’s score rose by 0.2 points. In contrast, the statistical tie on Voice App Experience was driven almost equally by a 0.6 point rise in A1’s score and a 0.5 point drop in Vivacom’s score. All three operators placed in the Fair (65-75) category for Games Experience, with Telenor moving up from the Poor (40-65) rating it had in our last report. A Fair rating means that our users found the experience to be ‘average’. In most cases the game was responsive to the actions of the player with most users reporting that they felt like they had control over the game. The majority of players reported that they noticed a delay between their actions and the outcomes in the game.

All three operators have an Excellent rating for Video Experience

For the first time, all three of Bulgaria’s national operators have earned an Excellent (75 or above) rating for Video Experience — our highest accolade for this measure of the mobile experience. A1 and Telenor have both moved up from the Very Good (65-75) rating they had in our last report, while Vivacom placed in the Excellent category last time around. In our previous report, Vivacom and A1 were statistically tied for the award but this time all three operators are joint winners for the Video Experience award, mainly due to a 2.3 point increase in Telenor’s score. An Excellent rating means that our users had a very consistent experience across all video streaming providers and resolutions tested, with fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling.

Our users’ average upload speeds rose by 1.3-1.6 Mbps

A1 and Vivacom continue to be joint winners for the Upload Speed Experience award as their scores remain statistically tied. Our users on all three operators’ networks have seen their average upload speeds increase significantly since our last report. They reported increases of 1.3-1.6 Mbps (11.7-17%) and our Telenor users saw the largest improvement. The operator’s score has risen above the 10 Mbps mark for the first time to stand at 10.9 Mbps — 1-1.5 Mbps behind its rivals.

Introduction

Competition between Bulgaria’s operators over our awards has intensified since our last report to the extent that this time there is only one outright win, down from the four seen in our previous report. Vivacom previously won the awards for both Games Experience and Voice App Experience outright for two reports in a row, but is now a joint winner alongside A1. Conversely, A1 was the sole winner of the Download Speed Experience award in our previous three reports but an impressive 11.2 Mps (33.2%) increase in Vivacom’s score has created a statistical tie and the two operators are therefore joint winners. Looking at our awards table, Vivacom remains ahead as it is a joint winner for six awards and it is still the outright winner of the 4G Availability award.

While Telenor continues to have the smallest haul of awards, it is now a joint winner for Video Experience alongside Vivacom and A1 and remains a joint winner for 4G Coverage Experience with Vivacom. In addition, our users on Telenor’s network have observed the largest improvements across our three experiential metrics (Video Experience, Games Experience and Voice App Experience) and Upload Speed Experience since our last report.

In early April, Bulgaria’s Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) completed its auction of 5G spectrum in the 3.6GHz band. Each of the country’s three national operators obtained 100MHz of spectrum.

Telenor launched its 5G network on June 10. The operator stated at the time that its 5G service is now available in more than 60 locations across the country, including the capital Sofia, Burgas, Varna and Plovdiv, together with major cities and seaside resorts. Both A1 and Vivacom have a head-start on 5G, given that they launched their 5G networks in November and September, respectively.

In this report, we’ve analyzed the mobile experience of our Bulgarian users across all three national operators — A1, Telenor and Vivacom — over the 90 day period starting March 1, 2021 and ending May 29, 2021. Our results include measurements from 5G devices.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Bulgaria
June 2021, Bulgaria 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
June 2021, Bulgaria
4G Availability
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
June 2021, Bulgaria
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Coverage Experience
Download Image

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
A1
75.3
Telenor
75.1
Vivacom
75.5
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
A1
75.3
Telenor
75.1
Vivacom
75.5
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Games Experience

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
A1
72.1
Telenor
65.8
Vivacom
71.5
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Voice App Experience

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
A1
79.9
Telenor
78.9
Vivacom
81.2
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Download Speed Experience

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
A1
46.6
Telenor
40.1
Vivacom
44.8
0 12.5 25 37.5 50
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Upload Speed Experience

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
A1
12.5
Telenor
10.9
Vivacom
11.9
0 3.75 7.5 11.25 15
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Availability

4G Availability
% of time
A1
82.4
Telenor
84.3
Vivacom
88.9
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Coverage Experience

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
A1
6.8
Telenor
7.7
Vivacom
7.7
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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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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