Mobily, STC and Zain all shined across multiple measures of 5G mobile network experience, which resulted in five shared awards between two or three operators, and two sole wins. STC secures five jointly won awards and one outright win for 5G Availability. Mobily shares three awards while winning 5G Games Experience outright. Zain shares four awards with no outright wins.
All three Saudi operators showed some impressive 5G scores when compared to global standards. This comes as no surprise because in our recent 5G Global Mobile Network Experience Awards report
all three national operators were recognized as 5G Global Leaders in multiple categories. Mobily, STC and Zain all featured among the Global Leaders for 5G Availability, while STC and Zain were also recognized as Global Leaders in both 5G Download Speed and 5G Upload Speed. Also, all three Saudi operators gained multiple mentions in our 5G Global Impact categories that measured the uplift, or improvement, in the mobile experience seen by our users while connected to 5G compared to 4G.
However, the 5G mobile experience is not yet mature, and Saudi operators are working on increasing the extent of their 5G networks. According to Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), the total number of governorates covered by 5G at the end of the second quarter was 60 out of 118, up by seven from the first quarter of 2021. STC covered 56 governorates, followed by Zain at 43 and Mobily with 21.
In this report, we examine the 5G experience of our users on the three mobile network operators in Saudi Arabia — Mobily STC and Zain — over a period of 90 days beginning July 1 and ending September 28, 2021, to see how they fared. We have also published a companion report — Saudi Arabia Mobile Network Experience — which analyzes the overall experience of all our mobile users in Saudi Arabia.