Canada

Mobile Network Experience Report
August 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
Hardik Khatri Technical Analyst

Key findings

Telus once again bags Opensignal's Video Experience award.

Our users in Canada continue to enjoy the best Video Experience when connected to Telus' network. Telus wins Video Experience this time by scoring 72.7 points (out of 100), followed by Bell and Rogers' scores of 71 and 68.5, respectively. With these scores, all three operators place in the Very Good (65-75) category. But Telus's lead on second-placed Bell has diminished from 2.4 points to 1.8 points.

Rogers and Telus are new joint winners of the Games Experience award

Rogers and Telus share the top spot for multiplayer mobile gaming in Canada this time after sharing it along with Bell in a three-way split in the previous report. Our users on all three national Canadian carriers observed a Fair (65-75) Games Experience.

Telus users continue to experience the fastest overall download speeds in Canada

With an average download speed of 73.9 Mbps, our users experience much faster speeds when connected to Telus than on either Bell or Rogers. Telus now has a lead of 4.1 Mbps (5.8%) over second-placed Bell's score of 69.9 Mbps and the winner’s score is 16.5 Mbps (28.6%) higher than Rogers' score of 57.5 Mbps.

Bell replaces Telus as a joint winner in a narrowly run race for the 4G Availability award

Last time, Rogers and Telus shared the top spot, but Bell shares the award with Rogers this time. This change was caused by a greater decrease reported by our Telus users (1.7 percentage points) than that seen by our Rogers and Bell users — 1.3 and 0.3 percentage points, respectively. As a result, Bell (92.4%) and Rogers (92.8%) statistically tie for first place, just marginally ahead of Telus (92.3%). All three carriers continue to have extremely high scores.

Introduction

Our awards table is essentially unchanged since our last report; Telus remains the operator to beat when it comes to mobile experience in Canada. Telus successfully defends four awards and two joint wins. The difference this time is that two operators jointly win the Games Experience award compared to a three-way split seen in the last report, and Bell now shares the 4G Availability award with Rogers. Our users in Canada reported declines across all three networks in four out of seven categories. However, it is worth considering that this data was collected from April 1 until June 29, Canadian scores are typically impacted by seasonality during this period which could have contributed to the slight decline in scores from our previous report.

Last month, Canadian carriers participated in the much-awaited 3.5 GHz mid-band spectrum auction, which is critical to deploying 5G in Canada. While 5G may be the key area of focus for Canadian operators, 4G continues to play a vital role because that's the network consumers spend most of their time connected to. In our latest Canada 5G Experience report, where we delve deeper into seven categories of the 5G mobile experience, we found that our 5G users spent 7.2% to 11.1% of time connected to 5G services. This means that understanding the overall mobile network experience of mobile users in Canada remains an important measure on which to compare the three carriers. 5G readings contribute to all our results and awards in this report.

For this report, we include 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 — 3G, 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, Canada
August 2021, Canada 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
August 2021, Canada
Video Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
August 2021, Canada
Games Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
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Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Bell
71.0
Rogers
68.5
Telus
72.7
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

Telus once again wins Opensignal's Video Experience award — the fifth win in a row. This means that our Telus users continue to enjoy the best quality of mobile video streaming experience in Canada. Telus' overall score this time is 72.7 points (on a 0-100 scale) which places it in the Very Good category. While Telus' score has dipped slightly — by 1.8 points — compared to our last report, Bell's diminished by 1.1 points. As a result, Bell has reduced the gap with Telus — 2.4 points to 1.8 points with 71 points. Meanwhile, Roger's Video Experience score remained statistically unchanged.

Video Experience – 5G Userstakes into account the average 3G and 4G Video Experience that 5G users see, as well as their average 5G Video Experience and the proportion of time that they spent connected to each type of network to reveal their overall video experience. Telus was the only Canadian operator to place in the Excellent (75 or above) category with a score of 75.5 points — both its rivals garnered Very Good (65-75) ratings instead.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Bell
71.0
Rogers
68.5
Telus
72.7
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
74.0 (± 0.82) 70.7 (± 1.02) 75.5 (± 0.59)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Video Experience – 5G Users in 0-100 points
74 (± 0.82)
71 (± 1.02)
75 (± 0.59)
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

An Excellent rating for Video Experience – 5G Users indicates a very consistent experience across all 5G 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 loading times were generally fast and that there was only occasional stalling, but the experience might have been somewhat inconsistent across 5G users and/or video providers/resolutions.

Games Experience

The three-way tie that our users observed in our last report has now turned into a two-way tie as Rogers and Telus jointly win our Games Experience award. This change was triggered due to the declines in scores reported by our users across the board — from 3.3 points on Rogers' network to 5.2 points on Bell's. Regardless, Our user had a Fair (65-75) Games Experience on all three operators' networks.

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Bell
67.1
Rogers
69.3
Telus
68.8
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Games Experience
Additional Metrics
in 0-100 points
Games Experience – 5G Users
70.8 (± 1.52) 75.3 (± 1.16) 70.9 (± 1.30)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Games Experience – 5G Users in 0-100 points
71 (± 1.52)
75 (± 1.16)
71 (± 1.30)
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

On Games Experience – 5G Users, Rogers' score achieves a Good (75-85) rating compared to Bell and Telus, who place in the Fair category. Rogers' score placed in the Good category means most 5G users on its network deemed the experience acceptable; it also indicates that the gameplay experience was generally controllable, with most 5G users receiving immediate feedback between their actions and the outcomes in the game. Higher scores mean users' experience becomes more enjoyable — improved with reduced delays and greater controllability in the gameplay. These results show that there is still some room for improvement when it comes to Games Experience in Canada, even for 5G users.

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

Telus holds on to the Voice App Experience award with a score of 78.4 points (out of 100). The operator's lead over its rivals has increased slightly on this measure since our last report, rising from at least 0.4 to at least 0.7 points. Telus' score places it in the Acceptable (74-80) category alongside Bell and Rogers. These changes have resulted from a 2.0-2.5 points decline reported by our users across the board.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Bell
77.4
Rogers
77.7
Telus
78.4
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Voice App Experience
Additional Metrics
in 0-100 points
Voice App Experience – 5G Users
79.0 (± 0.54) 80.2 (± 0.49) 79.5 (± 0.53)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Voice App Experience – 5G Users in 0-100 points
79 (± 0.54)
80 (± 0.49)
79 (± 0.53)
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

However, when we look at the Voice App Experience – 5G User scores, only Rogers garnered a Good (80-87) rating, which means that many 5G users on its network were satisfied, although some may have experienced minor quality impairments such as clicking sounds or distortion. Opensignal's Voice App Experience reflects the use of over-the-top (OTT) voice communication apps, for example, Facebook Messenger, Skype or WhatsApp. The model characterizes the exact relationship between the technical measurements and perceived call quality using a model derived on the International Telecommunications Union approach.

Download Speed Experience

Telus has once again retained the top spot for Download Speed Experience, as our users on its network observed the fastest download speeds in Canada, averaging a whopping 73.9 Mbps. As well, Telus' lead over second-placed Bell has widened by 0.6 Mbps to 4.1 Mbps (5.8%) as its score grew by 1.2 Mbps compared to a 0.5 Mbps increase in Bell's, since the last report. Meanwhile, our Rogers users saw their average download speeds decline by 2.4 Mbps to 57.5 Mbps.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Bell
69.9
Rogers
57.5
Telus
73.9
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
110.7 (± 3.73) 79.7 (± 2.36) 112.2 (± 3.18)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Download Speed Experience – 5G Users in Mbps
111 (± 3.73)
80 (± 2.36)
112 (± 3.18)
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

The overall download speed experienced by 5G users — in other words, those mobile users with both a 5G smartphone model and a 5G plan — were staggering fast. Telus and Bell reached 112.2 Mbps and 110.7 Mbps, respectively, while Rogers was less than half a point short of the 80 Mbps mark.

Upload Speed Experience

The race for our Upload Speed Experience award in Canada remains highly competitive, with less than one Mbps separating all three operators' scores. Telus holds on to the award and leads with a score of 10.9 Mbps, followed by Rogers and Bell's score of 10.2 Mbps and 10 Mbps, respectively. Since the last report, the average upload speeds of our users dropped by 0.5 Mbps on Bell's network and 0.2 Mbps on Rogers and Telus' networks.

When we look at the overall upload speed experienced by 5G users, all three operators were statistically tied with scores around the 12 Mbps mark.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Bell
10.0
Rogers
10.2
Telus
10.9
0 3.75 7.5 11.25 15
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Upload Speed Experience
Additional Metrics
in Mbps
Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users
12.1 (± 0.48) 12.4 (± 0.44) 11.8 (± 0.38)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users in Mbps
12 (± 0.48)
12 (± 0.44)
12 (± 0.38)
Mobile Network Experience Report | August 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

4G Availability

In our last report, we saw Rogers and Telus tied for first place in 4G Availability — a measure of the average proportion of time users spend connected to 4G — but this time around, Bell and Rogers are the new joint-winners. This is because Telus's score dropped by 1.7 percentage points, while those of Rogers and Bell diminished by 1.3 and 0.3 percentage points, respectively. As a result, 4G Availability in Canada now ranges between 92.3% and 92.8%.

4G Availability
% of time
Bell
92.4
Rogers
92.8
Telus
92.3
0 23.75 47.5 71.25 95
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Coverage Experience

Bell and Telus remain the joint winners of our 4G Coverage Experience award with two scores of 9.7 points (out of 10). Our users on all three networks reported a slight increase since the last report, while Bell and Telus's scores grew by 0.3%, Rogers' score improved by 0.9%.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Bell
9.7
Rogers
8.6
Telus
9.7
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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While Opensignal's 4G Availability measures the proportion of time users spent connected to 4G, our 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.

Regional Analysis

Our regional analysis assessed how the mobile network experience varies across Canada's major provinces on Canada's three national carriers – Bell, Rogers and Telus. It also compared regional players, such as Videotron and Freedom Mobile, depending on the region our users were connecting from.

In Video Experience, the national winner Telus collects four joint wins — including three with Bell in Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba, and with Freedom Mobile in Ontario. Meanwhile, Videotron once again wins outright in Quebec, with a score of 76 points this time, which places it in the Excellent category. Bell also wins an award outright in Atlantic provinces, which it shared with Telus last time around.

In our regional analysis of Games Experience, Rogers, Telus and Videotron each win an award outright in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec, respectively. And in the remaining regions, all three national carriers are statistically tied for first place. However, looking at regional Voice App Experience, none of the carriers win an award outright — Bell, Rogers and Telus collect three joint wins in Alberta, Atlantic Provinces and Manitoba, excluding Ontario, where we saw a four-way split between national carriers and Freedom Mobile. Videotron also jointly won in Quebec, where it was statistically tied with Rogers and Telus.

Moving onto Canada's regional Download Speed Experience. Bell and Telus jointly won in each of the six regions, including Alberta, where we saw a three-way split between the national carriers. In Upload Speed Experience, Bell wins outright in Manitoba while Videotron is the sole winner in Quebec.

The regional 4G Availability scores were more than 90% for each of the operators — national and regional — in Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec. This means our users were able to find 4G signals more than 90% of the time in the above provinces, regardless of their choice of network operator. Rogers wins two awards outright for 4G availability in Atlantic provinces and Ontario, while Bell, Telus and Videotron are the sole winners in British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec, respectively.

Select any region or city below to display individual breakdown

Alberta

Video Experience
in Alberta
in 0-100 points
Bell
74.0
Freedom Mobile
71.4
Rogers
71.2
Telus
74.4
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Games Experience
in Alberta
in 0-100 points
Bell
68.1
Freedom Mobile
61.6
Rogers
72.4
Telus
66.5
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Voice App Experience
in Alberta
in 0-100 points
Bell
78.5
Freedom Mobile
76.5
Rogers
79.6
Telus
78.8
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Download Speed Experience
in Alberta
in Mbps
Bell
83.2
Freedom Mobile
30.3
Rogers
80.2
Telus
82.5
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Upload Speed Experience
in Alberta
in Mbps
Bell
12.0
Freedom Mobile
9.7
Rogers
13.0
Telus
12.7
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4G Availability
in Alberta
% of time
Bell
95.4
Freedom Mobile
92.6
Rogers
94.9
Telus
94.0
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Atlantic provinces

Video Experience
in Atlantic provinces
in 0-100 points
Bell
68.1
Rogers
64.3
Telus
65.9
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Games Experience
in Atlantic provinces
in 0-100 points
Bell
59.5
Rogers
58.3
Telus
55.6
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Voice App Experience
in Atlantic provinces
in 0-100 points
Bell
75.2
Rogers
74.6
Telus
74.2
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Download Speed Experience
in Atlantic provinces
in Mbps
Bell
57.7
Rogers
39.3
Telus
52.3
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Upload Speed Experience
in Atlantic provinces
in Mbps
Bell
8.7
Rogers
6.6
Telus
8.6
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4G Availability
in Atlantic provinces
% of time
Bell
90.2
Rogers
93.1
Telus
87.3
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British Columbia

Video Experience
in British Columbia
in 0-100 points
Bell
73.0
Freedom Mobile
72.0
Rogers
69.7
Telus
74.0
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Games Experience
in British Columbia
in 0-100 points
Bell
69.8
Freedom Mobile
66.7
Rogers
69.3
Telus
71.0
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Voice App Experience
in British Columbia
in 0-100 points
Bell
78.6
Freedom Mobile
77.4
Rogers
77.4
Telus
79.2
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Download Speed Experience
in British Columbia
in Mbps
Bell
70.8
Freedom Mobile
33.0
Rogers
62.8
Telus
75.0
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Upload Speed Experience
in British Columbia
in Mbps
Bell
11.1
Freedom Mobile
9.8
Rogers
11.2
Telus
11.8
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4G Availability
in British Columbia
% of time
Bell
95.2
Freedom Mobile
90.2
Rogers
93.2
Telus
93.7
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Manitoba

Video Experience
in Manitoba
in 0-100 points
Bell
69.5
Rogers
62.1
Telus
70.1
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Games Experience
in Manitoba
in 0-100 points
Bell
58.6
Rogers
57.7
Telus
65.7
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Voice App Experience
in Manitoba
in 0-100 points
Bell
76.4
Rogers
76.9
Telus
77.5
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Download Speed Experience
in Manitoba
in Mbps
Bell
69.7
Rogers
58.7
Telus
69.7
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Upload Speed Experience
in Manitoba
in Mbps
Bell
10.5
Rogers
9.2
Telus
8.9
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4G Availability
in Manitoba
% of time
Bell
86.1
Rogers
80.9
Telus
89.6
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Ontario

Video Experience
in Ontario
in 0-100 points
Bell
71.3
Freedom Mobile
72.4
Rogers
69.1
Telus
72.8
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Games Experience
in Ontario
in 0-100 points
Bell
69.1
Freedom Mobile
67.2
Rogers
70.6
Telus
70.3
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Voice App Experience
in Ontario
in 0-100 points
Bell
77.6
Freedom Mobile
78.1
Rogers
77.7
Telus
78.2
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Download Speed Experience
in Ontario
in Mbps
Bell
73.9
Freedom Mobile
32.7
Rogers
54.2
Telus
76.8
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Upload Speed Experience
in Ontario
in Mbps
Bell
9.8
Freedom Mobile
10.5
Rogers
9.7
Telus
10.3
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4G Availability
in Ontario
% of time
Bell
92.3
Freedom Mobile
89.8
Rogers
93.9
Telus
91.1
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Quebec

Video Experience
in Quebec
in 0-100 points
Bell
70.6
Rogers
68.2
Telus
71.8
Videotron
76.0
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Games Experience
in Quebec
in 0-100 points
Bell
70.6
Rogers
71.0
Telus
72.7
Videotron
77.0
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Voice App Experience
in Quebec
in 0-100 points
Bell
77.8
Rogers
77.7
Telus
78.8
Videotron
78.7
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Download Speed Experience
in Quebec
in Mbps
Bell
65.5
Rogers
58.2
Telus
67.2
Videotron
43.3
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Upload Speed Experience
in Quebec
in Mbps
Bell
9.9
Rogers
11.1
Telus
10.1
Videotron
12.7
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4G Availability
in Quebec
% of time
Bell
91.8
Rogers
91.8
Telus
91.5
Videotron
94.7
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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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