Mobile Network Experience Report Hong Kong November 2021

Hong Kong

Mobile Network Experience Report
November 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

SmarTone wins the Games Experience award

With a score of 72.2 on a 100-point scale SmarTone holds onto the Opensignal Games Experience award. CMHK and 3 had the next highest scores — 68.7 and 66.9 respectively — while our csl users saw the lowest score of 64.1. Games Experience quantifies real-time multiplayer mobile gaming across cellular networks, for example for battle royale titles such as Garena Freefire of PUBG and massive online battle arena (MOBA) titles like Arena of Valor.

The Voice App Experience award is held by SmarTone

While SmarTone again wins Voice App Experience, there is little to separate the four operators with scores ranging from 76.0 (CMHK) to 78.5 (SmarTone) on a 100-point scale. Voice App Experience measures the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — example apps include WhatsApp, WeChat, Skype and Facebook Messenger — using an 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.

CMHK forces a draw in Download Speed Experience with csl

In the last report, csl won the award outright, but now CMHK jointly wins the Download Speed Experience award alongside csl. Our users on both operators — 35.7 Mbps using CMHK and a statistically tied score of 33.8 Mbps using csl — saw a much faster average download speed than our users connecting with 3 (24.7 Mbps) or SmarTone (26.7 Mbps).

csl has to share the Video Experience award with 3 and CMHK now

The previous lead of 2 points for csl on a 100-point scale has dissolved. As a result, the score of csl (69.2) is now statistically tied with 3 and CMHK's scores of 68.5 and 68 respectively. Video Experience quantifies how users perceive mobile video streaming quality based on real-world video test measurements from real mobile users.

SmarTone has replaced csl as a joint winner for Upload Speed Experience alongside CMHK

CMHK and SmartTone share the award with users experiencing average upload speeds of 9.3 Mbps and 8.7 Mbps respectively which is a statistical draw because of overlapping confidence intervals. However, in the last report it was csl that shared the award with CMHK. Since then our SmarTone users have seen their average upload speeds increase from 6.1 Mbps to 8.7 Mbps while our csl users have seen a smaller boost from 7.8 Mbps to 8.6 Mbps which has enabled SmarTone to move ahead and now jointly win the award alongside CMHK.

Introduction

In the last six months competition has intensified and there is now less difference between the operators when we look at the overall experience of all Opensignal mobile users. In the last report, four of the seven awards on offer were won outright, but now that has slipped to just two awards with the remaining five categories being jointly won by two or more operators.

Notably, the 5G experience is becoming more important in Hong Kong as operators expand their 5G services, acquire new spectrum and more mobile users upgrade to 5G smartphone models and 5G tariff plans. Opensignal has also published a companion 5G experience report which analyzes the experience of our 5G users when they are connected to 5G network technology.

To provide a greater understanding of the mobile experience, in this report we are also publishing additional metrics looking at the overall experience of 5G users in Hong Kong (not just when they are connected to 5G technology). This differs from the awards because instead of representing the experience for all users, these additional metrics reflect the overall experience of those smartphone users that have both a 5G tariff plan and a 5G smartphone model taking into account the amount of time 5G users spend connected to 4G and 5G.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Hong Kong
November 2021, Hong Kong 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
November 2021, Hong Kong
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
November 2021, Hong Kong
Video Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Download Image

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
3
68.5
CMHK
68.0
csl
69.2
SmarTone
64.4
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

Three operators jointly win the Video Experience award: 3, CMHK and csl. With statistically tied scores of 68.5, 68 and 69.2 respectively, our users on the three winning operators enjoy a Very Good (65<75) Video Experience. This means users saw generally fast loading times and only occasional stalling but the experience might have been somewhat inconsistent across users and/or video providers/resolutions.

Video Experience quantifies the quality of video streamed to mobile devices using 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, Opensignal directly measures video streams from end-user devices and uses an ITU-based 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
3
68.5
CMHK
68.0
csl
69.2
SmarTone
64.4
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
74.3 (± 1.99) 77.4 (± 1.18) 76.5 (± 1.26) 75.9 (± 1.41)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Video Experience – 5G Users in 0-100 points
74 (± 1.99)
77 (± 1.18)
77 (± 1.26)
76 (± 1.41)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Games Experience

SmarTone wins the Games Experience award again, now with a score of 72.2 on a 100-point scale. With scores of 66.9 and 68.7 two operators tie for second place — 3 and CMHK — while csl score 64.1.

Games Experience is a measure of how mobile users experience real-time multiplayer mobile gaming on an operator's cellular network. Measured on a scale of 0-100, it analyzes how real-time multiplayer mobile gaming is affected by mobile network conditions including latency, packet loss and jitter to determine the impact on gameplay and the overall multiplayer gaming experience. Opensignal's approach is built on several years of research quantifying the relationship between a number of technical network parameters that we measure and the gaming experience as reported by real mobile users.

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
3
66.9
CMHK
68.7
csl
64.1
SmarTone
72.2
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
73.6 (± 3.78) 77.7 (± 2.03) 73.5 (± 2.38) 74.1 (± 2.78)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Games Experience – 5G Users in 0-100 points
74 (± 3.78)
78 (± 2.03)
74 (± 2.38)
74 (± 2.78)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Voice App Experience

Under three points separates the four operators on Voice App Experience as seen by our users. However, SmarTone again wins the award — this time with a score of 78.5 on a 100-point scale. All four operators placed in the Acceptable category (74<80) meaning users are satisfied. Perceptible call quality impairments were experienced by some users. Short duration of clicking sounds or distortion could be heard, and/or the volume may not have been sufficiently loud. The listener was generally able to comprehend without repetition.

Voice App Experience measures the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services of popular mobile voice apps, examples of which include WeChat, WhatsApp, Skype, Line and Facebook Messenger. It uses an 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 from real mobile users and the 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
3
76.7
CMHK
76.0
csl
76.1
SmarTone
78.5
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
Voice App Experience – 5G Users
79.1 (± 1.44) 80.5 (± 0.74) 79.6 (± 0.99) 78.7 (± 1.18)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Voice App Experience – 5G Users in 0-100 points
79 (± 1.44)
81 (± 0.74)
80 (± 0.99)
79 (± 1.18)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Download Speed Experience

CMHK and csl jointly win the Download Speed Experience award with tied scores of 35.7 Mbps and 33.8 Mbps, respectively. In the last report, csl won this award outright with our users then seeing an average download speed of 29.6 Mbps. But in the last six months our users on all four operators have seen their average download speeds increase.

However, if we examine the experience of our 5G users alone — those mobile users with both a 5G smartphone model and a 5G tariff plan — we see a different result to the winner of the award when we look at all mobile users. Our CMHK 5G users have the fastest overall download speed across all mobile technologies, 4G and 5G, with an average download speed of 109.6 Mbps while our csl 5G users have an overall download speed of 85.7 Mbps.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
3
24.7
CMHK
35.7
csl
33.8
SmarTone
26.7
0 10 20 30 40
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
Additional Metrics
in Mbps
Download Speed Experience – 5G Users
83.8 (± 9.09) 109.6 (± 5.29) 85.7 (± 5.36) 82.5 (± 7.08)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Download Speed Experience – 5G Users in Mbps
84 (± 9.09)
110 (± 5.29)
86 (± 5.36)
82 (± 7.08)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Upload Speed Experience

On Upload Speed Experience, CMHK and SmarTone jointly win the award with scores of 9.3 Mbps and 8.7 Mbps respectively. However, 3 and csl are close behind with scores of 8.1 Mbps and 8.6 Mbps.

But we again see CMHK and SmarTone ahead when we look at 5G users' overall experience, while the result remains a tie between the two operators, the overall average upload speeds are considerably faster. SmarTone 5G users saw overall upload speeds of 19.1 Mbps across all mobile technologies while CMHK 5G users experienced 17.8 Mbps . These results represent the overall experience of just those users with both a 5G smartphone model and a 5G tariff plan.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
3
8.1
CMHK
9.3
csl
8.6
SmarTone
8.7
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
Additional Metrics
in Mbps
Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users
11.3 (± 1.26) 17.8 (± 1.10) 14.8 (± 1.05) 19.1 (± 1.69)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users in Mbps
11 (± 1.26)
18 (± 1.10)
15 (± 1.05)
19 (± 1.69)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

4G Availability

The time that users are able to connect to 4G or better is very similar across all four operators. The 4G Availability scores range from 93.3% to 95.1%. Three operators jointly win the award — 3, CMHK and csl — but SmarTone is not far behind. With the initial non-standalone access (NSA) type of 5G technology requiring a 4G connection for a smartphone to also connect to 5G, a high 4G Availability score remains important. In effect, 4G is a necessary foundation for enabling the 5G experience.

4G Availability
% of time
3
94.5
CMHK
95.1
csl
94.6
SmarTone
93.3
0 25 50 75 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

4G Coverage Experience

This time around, our users did not observe any statistically significant difference in terms of the locations where they were able to connect to 4G across Hong Kong's four operators. As a result, 3, CHMK, csl and SmarTone all share the 4G Coverage Experience award. In our previous report, our users reported a three-way tie for first place that excluded 3.

Opensignal's 4G Coverage Experience 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.

In simple terms, 4G Coverage Experience measures the mobile coverage experience in all the locations that matter most to everyday users — i.e.all the places where they live, work and travel. It considers all the areas that Opensignal users visit, the portion of locations that 4G is available to them, and locations that more users visit have higher importance to them.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
3
9.9
CMHK
10.0
csl
9.9
SmarTone
10.0
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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