Mobile Network Experience Report South Korea June 2021

South Korea

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
Ian Fogg VP Analysis

Key findings

SK telecom wins the Video Experience award

With a score of 77.6 on the 100 points scale, SK telecom users had the best mobile video streaming experience, ahead of KT on 76.5 and LG U+ on 74.4. Video Experience is derived on an International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-based approach, built upon detailed studies which have derived a relationship between technical parameters, including picture quality, video loading time and stall rate, with the perceived video experience as reported by real people.

Upload Speed Experience is fastest using LG U+

With an average upload speed of 14.4 Mbps LG U+ wins the award. In second place is SK telecom with a speed of 12.6 Mbps, ahead of KT's score of 11.2 Mbps. Upload speed is important for sharing files, photos or video through messaging apps, email or onto social media.

For Games Experience, LG U+ and SK telecom draw

For multiplayer mobile gaming there is no significant difference seen between our users when connecting with LG U+ and SK telecom with scores of 87.5 and 87.1 on the 100 point scale. Games Experience reflects the sensitivity of multiple genres of mobile games to different real-world network conditions based on measurements from smartphone users.

SK telecom wins the Download Speed Experience award

Just as in Opensignal's last report on South Korea, our SK telecom users again saw the fastest average download speeds. This time they clocked up an impressive 71 Mbps, ahead of KT's users' speed of 53.3 Mbps and LG U+ with 51.2 Mbps.

Introduction

In this report we see no change in the award winners from the last Opensignal report published in December 2020 on the overall mobile experience in South Korea.

In South Korea, the greatest and most interesting changes are happening using 5G. While this report compares the overall experience of South Korean users, Opensignal is also publishing a companion report on the 5G user experience in South Korea across the three major operators.

However, there are a number of new metrics included in this Mobile Network Experience report for the first time. In each category, we report the overall experience for all smartphone users, but we also publish supporting metrics for 5G users' experience. The difference is that these 5G users results reflect the overall experience across all mobile technologies — 4G and 5G — of 5G users alone, while the overall results are the average scores across all smartphone users, whether or not they have 5G.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, South Korea
June 2021, South Korea 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
June 2021, South Korea
Video Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
June 2021, South Korea
Games Experience
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Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
KT
76.5
LG U+
74.4
SK telecom
77.6
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

Opensignal's Video Experience metric quantifies the quality of video streamed to mobile devices by measuring real-world video streams over an operator's networks. The metric is derived on an International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-based approach, built upon detailed studies which have derived a relationship between technical parameters, including picture quality, video loading time and stall rate, with the perceived video experience as reported by real people.

To calculate video experience, we are directly measuring video streams from end-user devices and using this ITU approach to quantify the overall video experience for each operator on a scale from 0 to 100. The videos tested include a mixture of resolutions and are streamed directly from the world's largest video content providers.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
KT
76.5
LG U+
74.4
SK telecom
77.6
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
Video Experience – 5G Users
81.2 (± 0.27) 79.9 (± 0.35) 81.5 (± 0.20)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Video Experience – 5G Users in 0-100 points
81 (± 0.27)
80 (± 0.35)
82 (± 0.20)
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Games Experience

The Games Experience metric 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 including battle royale and massive online battle arena (MOBA) genres

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
KT
85.6
LG U+
87.5
SK telecom
87.1
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
Games Experience – 5G Users
88.6 (± 0.38) 87.5 (± 0.44) 87.5 (± 0.32)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Games Experience – 5G Users in 0-100 points
89 (± 0.38)
88 (± 0.44)
87 (± 0.32)
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Voice App Experience

Opensignal's Voice App Experience measures the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — for example mobile voice apps such as Kakaotalk, LINE, WhatsApp, or Skype — 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.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
KT
83.7
LG U+
84.0
SK telecom
83.8
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
Voice App Experience – 5G Users
84.4 (± 0.15) 84.5 (± 0.16) 84.4 (± 0.12)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Voice App Experience – 5G Users in 0-100 points
84 (± 0.15)
84 (± 0.16)
84 (± 0.12)
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Download Speed Experience

Measured in Mbps, Download Speed Experience represents the typical everyday speeds a user experiences across an operator's mobile data networks.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
KT
53.3
LG U+
51.2
SK telecom
71.0
0 18.75 37.5 56.25 75
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Download Speed Experience
Additional Metrics
in Mbps
Download Speed Experience – 5G Users
200.4 (± 3.77) 206.1 (± 5.25) 238.6 (± 3.80)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Download Speed Experience – 5G Users in Mbps
200 (± 3.77)
206 (± 5.25)
239 (± 3.80)
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Upload Speed Experience

Typically upload speeds are slower than download speeds, as current mobile broadband technologies focus resources on providing the best possible download speed for users consuming content on their devices. As mobile internet trends move away from downloading content to creating content and supporting real-time communications services, upload speeds are becoming more vital and new technologies are emerging that boost upstream capacity.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
KT
11.2
LG U+
14.4
SK telecom
12.6
0 3.75 7.5 11.25 15
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Additional Metrics
in Mbps
Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users
19.2 (± 0.32) 19.9 (± 0.43) 20.0 (± 0.33)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users in Mbps
19 (± 0.32)
20 (± 0.43)
20 (± 0.33)
Mobile Network Experience Report | June 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

4G Availability

4G Availability measures the proportion of time where users have a 4G connection. Notably, with the current 5G deployments a 5G smartphone must continue to be connected to 4G service even when using 5G. So, the amount of time users are able to connect to 4G is important even with the arrival of 5G.

4G Availability
% of time
KT
98.8
LG U+
99.8
SK telecom
99.3
0 25 50 75 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Coverage Experience

Measured on a scale of 0-10, 4G Coverage Experience analyzes the locations where customers of a network operator received a 4G signal relative to the locations visited by users of all network operators.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
KT
9.8
LG U+
9.7
SK telecom
9.9
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Regional Analysis

In this report, we also compare the mobile network experience of our smartphone users across South Korea.

Select any region or city below to display individual breakdown

Chungcheong

Video Experience
in Chungcheong
in 0-100 points
KT
76.8
LG U+
74.2
SK telecom
78.0
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Games Experience
in Chungcheong
in 0-100 points
KT
89.1
LG U+
86.2
SK telecom
87.6
Download Image
Voice App Experience
in Chungcheong
in 0-100 points
KT
84.4
LG U+
83.8
SK telecom
84.2
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Chungcheong
in Mbps
KT
56.8
LG U+
48.3
SK telecom
75.2
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Upload Speed Experience
in Chungcheong
in Mbps
KT
10.2
LG U+
13.4
SK telecom
12.1
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4G Availability
in Chungcheong
% of time
KT
99.0
LG U+
99.9
SK telecom
99.4
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Gangwon

Video Experience
in Gangwon
in 0-100 points
KT
77.2
LG U+
72.0
SK telecom
78.4
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Games Experience
in Gangwon
in 0-100 points
KT
88.4
LG U+
90.8
SK telecom
89.9
Download Image
Voice App Experience
in Gangwon
in 0-100 points
KT
84.4
LG U+
85.4
SK telecom
84.6
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Gangwon
in Mbps
KT
72.8
LG U+
51.3
SK telecom
94.1
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Upload Speed Experience
in Gangwon
in Mbps
KT
11.8
LG U+
13.9
SK telecom
13.7
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4G Availability
in Gangwon
% of time
KT
98.6
LG U+
99.9
SK telecom
99.2
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Gyeongsan

Video Experience
in Gyeongsan
in 0-100 points
KT
76.7
LG U+
74.3
SK telecom
77.0
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Games Experience
in Gyeongsan
in 0-100 points
KT
84.9
LG U+
88.1
SK telecom
88.7
Download Image
Voice App Experience
in Gyeongsan
in 0-100 points
KT
83.7
LG U+
84.1
SK telecom
84.0
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Download Speed Experience
in Gyeongsan
in Mbps
KT
54.6
LG U+
48.5
SK telecom
61.2
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Upload Speed Experience
in Gyeongsan
in Mbps
KT
10.8
LG U+
12.7
SK telecom
12.8
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4G Availability
in Gyeongsan
% of time
KT
98.5
LG U+
99.7
SK telecom
99.4
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Jeolla

Video Experience
in Jeolla
in 0-100 points
KT
77.1
LG U+
73.7
SK telecom
78.6
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Games Experience
in Jeolla
in 0-100 points
KT
89.2
LG U+
86.6
SK telecom
90.2
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Voice App Experience
in Jeolla
in 0-100 points
KT
84.4
LG U+
84.3
SK telecom
84.1
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Download Speed Experience
in Jeolla
in Mbps
KT
57.0
LG U+
46.3
SK telecom
77.8
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Upload Speed Experience
in Jeolla
in Mbps
KT
11.1
LG U+
13.2
SK telecom
12.5
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4G Availability
in Jeolla
% of time
KT
99.2
LG U+
99.8
SK telecom
99.0
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Sudogwon

Video Experience
in Sudogwon
in 0-100 points
KT
76.6
LG U+
74.9
SK telecom
77.7
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Games Experience
in Sudogwon
in 0-100 points
KT
85.2
LG U+
88.0
SK telecom
86.5
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Voice App Experience
in Sudogwon
in 0-100 points
KT
83.6
LG U+
84.2
SK telecom
83.8
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Download Speed Experience
in Sudogwon
in Mbps
KT
51.8
LG U+
54.8
SK telecom
72.5
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Upload Speed Experience
in Sudogwon
in Mbps
KT
11.6
LG U+
15.7
SK telecom
12.7
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4G Availability
in Sudogwon
% of time
KT
98.8
LG U+
99.8
SK telecom
99.3
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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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