Mobile Network Experience Report Sri Lanka July 2021

Sri Lanka

Mobile Network Experience Report
July 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

Dialog wins both the Download and Upload Speed Experience awards outright

In our previous Mobile Network Experience report in Sri Lanka, Dialog claimed the Upload Speed Experience award, while Mobitel won the Download Speed Experience award. This time, Dialog triumphs in both categories, after defending the Upload Speed Experience award and snatching the Download Speed Experience award away from Mobitel. Our users on Dialog’s network experienced average download speeds of 8.5 Mbps and average upload speeds of 4.2 Mbps — 0.6 Mbps and 1.8 Mbps faster than our users on second placed Mobitel, respectively.

Dialog pries the Video Experience Award out of Mobitel’s hands

Dialog dethrones Mobitel, the previous winner, and takes home the Video Experience Award with a score of 47.6 points (on a 100-point scale). Both operators placed in the Fair category (40-55) — which means experience on lower resolution videos from some providers might have been sufficient. Opensignal’s Video Experience quantifies the quality of video streamed to mobile devices by measuring real-world video streams over an operator's networks. The videos tested include a mixture of resolutions and are streamed directly from the world’s largest video content providers.

Joint victories for Mobitel and Dialog for Games Experience and Voice App Experience awards

Mobitel won both the Games Experience and Voice App Experience awards in our previous report. However, this time Dialog forced statistical ties with Mobitel for both of these experiential awards, which led to two joint wins for both operators. Opensignal’s Games Experience analyzes how the multiplayer mobile Games Experience is affected by mobile network conditions including latency, packet loss and jitter to determine the impact on gameplay and the overall multiplayer Games Experience. Opensignal's 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.

All 4G operators in Sri Lanka improve their 4G Coverage Experience scores

While our other awards saw some changes in winners since our previous report — the frontrunners for both 4G Availability and 4G Coverage Experience remain unchallenged. Dialog and Mobitel share the 4G Availability award for the third time in a row, as Hutch hits the 70% milestone — which means, our 4G users were, on average, connected to 4G services on all 4G networks in Sri Lanka for more than 70% of the time. Meanwhile, Dialog wins the 4G Coverage Experience award for the fourth consecutive time as well, with a score of 8.5 on a 10-point scale. All 4G operators in Sri Lanka saw increases in their 4G Coverage Experience scores, ranging from 0.2 to 0.5 points. Opensignal’s 4G Coverage Experience is a measure of how mobile subscribers experience 4G coverage on an operator’s network. 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.

Introduction

In our latest look at the mobile network experience in Sri Lanka, we see significant changes in our awards table. In our previous report, Mobitel won four awards and Dialog — two, while both operators shared the ribbon for 4G Availability. However, this time the tables have turned — Dialog secures four outright wins and shares three more joint victories with Mobitel. Dialog snatched the Download Speed Experience and Video Experience awards away from Mobitel, while also forcing statistical ties for Games Experience and Voice App experience awards with this operator. We saw the status quo in the case of our other awards — Dialog retained its Upload Speed Experience and 4G Coverage Experience awards, while still remaining locked in a statistical tie with Mobitel for 4G Availability.

5G services are not yet commercially deployed in Sri Lanka — but the first commercial launches could potentially happen in 2022. Mobitel plans to deploy a pre-commercial 5G service in 2021, ahead of the planned commercial launch next year — the roll-out depends on when the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) issues spectrum-allocating licenses in the 3.5 GHz band. Mobitel anticipates investing US$100 million for its 5G deployment plans, on top of the US$15 million it plans to spend on spectrum. Meanwhile, Hutch is working with the equipment manufacturer ZTE on developing the 5G platform and performed an inaugural 5G trial in March 2021.

Widespread 5G roll-outs in Sri Lanka will benefit from strong 4G foundations as initial 5G deployments using non-standalone access (NSA) require a 4G signal. However, 4G mobile coverage is not yet ubiquitous in Sri Lanka. TRCSL identified more than 2,000 dark spots with weak signals and that 122 of 152 Grama Niladari Divisions lack mobile broadband coverage. TRCSL passed two pieces of legislation to improve mobile coverage and service quality, partly to facilitate the planned introduction of Mobile Number Portability in October 2021. Actions taken by the policymaker include defining the minimum standards for mobile phones and solving issues around the non-utilization of mobile spectrum

Mindful of the existence of areas outside of the mobile broadband footprint on the island, Sri Lankan operators are heavily investing in the development of their network infrastructure. Dialog pledged to invest US$207 million by the end of 2021 to upgrade and improve its infrastructure, to increase rural coverage and capacity — the latter to support the increased mobile data consumption seen over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The operator also performed successful Open RAN commercial field trials, which could lead to further improvements in network coverage. Mobitel claims to have invested US$126.3 million annually in the past few years on developing its infrastructure, including 4G network expansion — and that it works closely with TRCSL to deploy new towers in the rural areas of the country. Airtel Lanka will deploy 37 new cell sites in Ratnapura (the capital of Sabaragamuwa Province) as part of the Gamata Sanniwedanaya project. In our future reports, we might see how these upgrade efforts from Sri Lankan operators result in the increased coverage and availability of 4G services and, consequently, in the improved mobile network experience in Sri Lanka.

In this report, we have analyzed the mobile network experience for Sri Lanka's four operators, Airtel Dialog, Hutch and Mobitel — over the 90 days starting April 1, 2021 and ending June 29, 2021.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Sri Lanka
July 2021, Sri Lanka 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
July 2021, Sri Lanka
Video Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Coverage Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
July 2021, Sri Lanka
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
4G Availability
Download Image

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Airtel
38.9
Dialog
47.6
Hutch
32.9
Mobitel
45.2
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

National Analysis

Video Experience

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Airtel
38.9
Dialog
47.6
Hutch
32.9
Mobitel
45.2
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Video Experience
Additional Metrics
in 0-100 points
4G Video Experience
51.2 (± 0.67) 36.4 (± 2.04) 47.1 (± 0.94)
3G Video Experience
38.9 (± 3.35) 33.5 (± 1.82) 26.9 (± 2.39) 37.6 (± 2.27)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | July 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
51 (± 0.67)
36 (± 2.04)
47 (± 0.94)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
39 (± 3.35)
33 (± 1.82)
27 (± 2.39)
38 (± 2.27)
Mobile Network Experience Report | July 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Games Experience

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Airtel
32.0
Dialog
37.2
Hutch
34.6
Mobitel
37.1
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
4G Games Experience
40.4 (± 0.56) 36.0 (± 0.58) 38.4 (± 0.52)
3G Games Experience
32.0 (± 0.57) 32.0 (± 0.35) 32.4 (± 0.61) 34.0 (± 0.45)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | July 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Games Experience in 0-100 points
40 (± 0.56)
36 (± 0.58)
38 (± 0.52)
3G Games Experience in 0-100 points
32 (± 0.57)
32 (± 0.35)
32 (± 0.61)
34 (± 0.45)
Mobile Network Experience Report | July 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Voice App Experience

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Airtel
60.0
Dialog
68.9
Hutch
64.8
Mobitel
69.5
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
4G Voice App Experience
71.0 (± 0.38) 66.5 (± 1.22) 70.4 (± 0.51)
3G Voice App Experience
60.0 (± 1.78) 60.5 (± 0.93) 61.8 (± 2.20) 65.8 (± 1.25)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | July 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
71 (± 0.38)
67 (± 1.22)
70 (± 0.51)
3G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
60 (± 1.78)
61 (± 0.93)
62 (± 2.20)
66 (± 1.25)
Mobile Network Experience Report | July 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Download Speed Experience

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Airtel
4.6
Dialog
8.5
Hutch
4.2
Mobitel
8.0
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
Additional Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
9.8 (± 0.17) 5.1 (± 0.27) 8.8 (± 0.24)
3G Download Speed
4.6 (± 0.26) 3.5 (± 0.13) 2.8 (± 0.14) 4.5 (± 0.21)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | July 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
10 (± 0.17)
5 (± 0.27)
9 (± 0.24)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
5 (± 0.26)
4 (± 0.13)
3 (± 0.14)
4 (± 0.21)
Mobile Network Experience Report | July 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Upload Speed Experience

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Airtel
0.6
Dialog
4.2
Hutch
1.8
Mobitel
2.4
0 1.25 2.5 3.75 5
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Additional Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
5.1 (± 0.10) 2.4 (± 0.13) 2.8 (± 0.08)
3G Upload Speed
0.6 (± 0.04) 1.0 (± 0.06) 0.8 (± 0.05) 0.8 (± 0.06)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | July 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
5 (± 0.10)
2 (± 0.13)
3 (± 0.08)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
1 (± 0.04)
1 (± 0.06)
1 (± 0.05)
1 (± 0.06)
Mobile Network Experience Report | July 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

4G Availability

4G Availability
% of time
Dialog
78.9
Hutch
71.8
Mobitel
79.2
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

4G Coverage Experience

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Dialog
8.5
Hutch
3.9
Mobitel
7.4
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
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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