5G Experience Report Hong Kong November 2021

Hong Kong

5G 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

CMHK wins or joint wins every 5G award

Only one operator can claim every 5G award in this Opensignal report. CMHK wins outright two 5G awards and jointly wins the remaining five. No other operator comes close in the number of Opensignal 5G awards won: csl joint wins four awards while 3 and SmarTone joint win three 5G awards.

CMHK wins the first 5G Games Experience award

With a score of 84.7 on a 100-point scale, CMHK comes in front in Opensignal's analysis of real-time multiplayer mobile gaming in Hong Kong. The other three operators are statistically tied with csl scoring 79.6, SmarTone 75.8 and 3 hitting 74.1. Opensignal's 5G Games Experience approach is built on several years of research quantifying the relationship between real-world technical network parameters and the gaming experience as reported by mobile users.

The fastest average 5G download speeds were seen by CMHK users

With a speed of 149.4 Mbps, our CMHK users experienced the fastest average 5G download speeds. As a result, CMHK wins the 5G Download Speed award ahead of 3 in second place with a score of 129.9 Mbps, while csl and SmarTone tied with respective scores of 109.4 Mbps and 108.4 Mbps. Users on all four operators saw 5G speeds approximately three to five times faster than the our users experienced on csl and 3.

SmarTone and CMHK jointly win the 5G Upload Speed award

Upload speed has different benefits to download speed for example being more important for sharing media and documents. Also, the winners are often not the same across upload and download awards in Opensignal reports. It is important for sharing photos and videos on social media or sending office files via email. With statistically tied scores of 24.4 Mbps and 22.7 Mbps, SmarTone and CMHK share the award, with csl and 3 lagging behind on scores of 18.2 Mbps and 15.1 Mbps respectively.

The 5G Video Experience on all four operators ranks as Excellent (75 or above)

Three operators share Opensignal's first 5G Video Experience award in Hong Kong: 3, CMHK and csl, but SmarTone narrowly misses out. The experience on all four operators ranks as Excellent (75 or above) on our 100-point scale. 5G Video Experience quantifies the quality of the mobile video streaming experience by measuring video streamed to our users and using an International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-based approach to connect these real-world measurements with the perceived video experience of real people.

Introduction

In Opensignal's first 5G experience report on Hong Kong we see fierce competition across the four operators. While CMHK wins two awards outright, two or more operators share the other awards indicating close results.

As expected in a relatively small geography like a single city, we saw no significant difference in 5G Availability, the time our users were able to see an active 5G connection. Similarly, when we looked at 5G Reach — which quantifies the share of locations where users encountered 5G — we saw little variation. Both awards were shared across all four operators. In part this reflects the early stage of 5G development — as 5G matures over this decade in which it will be the leading mobile network technology it's likely differences between the experience of our users on different operators' 5G networks will increase.

As new wireless spectrum becomes available, Hong Kong's operators will find it easier to improve users' 5G experience significantly, as we have seen globally. The latest 5G spectrum auction offers both low-band spectrum in the 600 MHz and 700 MHz bands that is suited to improving the in-building 5G experience. The result of the auction showed the new capacity was shared across the operators. Plus, it offers operators access to new capacity in higher frequency bands — 2.5/2.6 GHz and 4.9 GHz — that should boost 5G speeds and support greater mobile data usage. Also, Hong Kong's government has recently increased funding to accelerate 5G development.

Already, we see different results in this 5G Experience report compared with our companion report that analyzes the overall mobile experience across all Opensignal users.

This report analyzes the 5G experience of Opensignal users based on real-world measurements taken between July 1 and September 28, 2021.

Opensignal Awards Table

5G Mobile Experience Awards, Hong Kong
November 2021, Hong Kong Report
5G Availability
5G Reach
5G Video Experience
5G Games Experience
5G Voice App Experience
5G Download Speed
5G Upload Speed
Download Image
Mobile Experience Awards Winners
November 2021, Hong Kong
5G Games Experience
5G Download Speed
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
November 2021, Hong Kong
5G Availability
5G Reach
5G Video Experience
5G Voice App Experience
5G Upload Speed
Download Image

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
5G Availability
in %
3
27.7
CMHK
24.3
csl
25.3
SmarTone
22.9
0 7.5 15 22.5 30
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

5G Availability

5G Availability quantifies the proportion of time Opensignal users had an active 5G connection. Availability is not a measure of coverage or the geographic extent of a network. It measures what proportion of time people have a network connection, in the places they most commonly frequent, something often missed by traditional ways to quantify the range of a network.

All four operators share the 5G Availability award because their confidence intervals overlap indicating a statistical draw. As the 5G experience matures, more low-band 5G spectrum will become available for operators to use — which should increase 5G Availability. Operators must not be complacent based on this result because these upcoming 5G market changes mean that in future one operator may break away and win the 5G Availability outright.

5G Availability
in %
3
27.7
CMHK
24.3
csl
25.3
SmarTone
22.9
0 7.5 15 22.5 30
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

5G Reach

Unsurprisingly at this early stage of 5G development, there is no significant difference between the operators and all four share the 5G Reach award.

Opensignal's 5G Reach is a measure of how mobile users experience the geographical extent of an operator's 5G network. It analyzes the average proportion of locations where users were connected to 5G out of all the locations those users have visited. In simple terms, 5G Reach measures the mobile experience in all the locations that matter most to everyday users — i.e. all the places where they live, work and travel. 5G Reach for each operator is measured on a scale from 0 to 10.

5G Reach
in 0-10 points
3
6.3
CMHK
6.3
csl
6.9
SmarTone
6.5
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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5G Video Experience

All four operators' users enjoyed an Excellent (75 or above) 5G Video Experience. This result means there was a very consistent experience across all users, video streaming providers and resolutions tested, with fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling. However three operators pulled away: 3, CMHK and csl share the first Opensignal 5G Video Experience award for Hong Kong and SmarTone narrowly misses out.

Opensignal's 5G Video Experience quantifies the quality of video streamed to mobile devices by measuring real-world video streams over an operator's 5G networks. 5G Video Experience uses 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 the 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.

5G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
3
78.8
CMHK
80.6
csl
78.8
SmarTone
78.0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

5G Games Experience

For multiplayer mobile gaming, CMHK wins the first Opensignal 5G Games Experience award with a score of 84.7 on a 100-point scale. The other three operators draw for second place.

Over the next decade, the designers of 5G technology aim to greatly improve the latency, or responsiveness, of mobile networks. Mobile gaming is one of the applications that should benefit most from improved responsiveness and a more reliable and predictable network experience.

Opensignal's 5G Games Experience 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). Opensignal tested multiple genres of multiplayer mobile games to measure their average sensitivity to network conditions including battle royale games — examples of which include Garena Freefire, PUBG and Fortnite — and massive online battle arena (MOBA) titles such as Arena of Valor.

5G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
3
74.1
CMHK
84.7
csl
79.6
SmarTone
75.8
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

5G Voice App Experience

CMHK and csl jointly win the 5G Voice App Experience award with statistically tied scores of 82.3 and 81 on a 100-point scale. Both operators rated Good (80<87) which means many users were satisfied. But minor quality impairments were experienced by some users, and sometimes the background was not quite clear and clicking sounds or distortion were very occasionally present.

However, 3 and SmarTone were close behind the winners with scores of 79.4 and 79.1 respectively. Both operators placed in theas Acceptable (74<80) category, meaning some users had perceptible call quality impairments —clicking sounds or distortion of short duration could be heard, and/or the volume was not sufficiently loud. However, users were generally able to comprehend without repetition.

5G Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
3
79.4
CMHK
82.3
csl
81.0
SmarTone
79.1
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

5G Download Speed

With an average 5G Download Speed of 149.4 our CMHK users had the fastest experience ahead of 3 users' score of 129.9 Mbps. Therefore, CMHK wins the first Opensignal 5G Download Speed award in Hong Kong.

SmarTone and csl users still enjoyed much faster 5G Download Speed than the overall speed experienced by our users — ​see the companion report — with 5G Download Speed scores of 108.4 Mbps and 109.4 Mbps, respectively.

5G Download Speed
in Mbps
3
129.9
CMHK
149.4
csl
109.4
SmarTone
108.4
0 37.5 75 112.5 150
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Download Image

5G Upload Speed

We often see different winners for Opensignal upload speed awards compared with download speed because the two types of speed offer very different user experiences. Hong Kong's inaugural 5G Upload Speed award is one of these cases where we have a different result.

SmarTone and CMHK jointly win the 5G Upload Speed award. Our users on each operator enjoyed average 5G upload speeds of 24.4 Mbps and 22.7 Mbps respectively. Csl and 3 lagged behind with scores of 18.2 Mbps and 15.1 Mbps.

5G Upload Speed
in Mbps
3
15.1
CMHK
22.7
csl
18.2
SmarTone
24.4
0 6.25 12.5 18.75 25
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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