Italy

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
Francesco Rizzato Principal Technical Analyst

Key findings

Vodafone dethrones WindTre to win Download Speed Experience

In this report, our Vodafone users enjoyed the fastest Download Speed Experience of 32.1 Mbps — up 5.2 Mbps from the previous report — resulting in Vodafone placing first, ahead of WindTre’s score of 30.8 Mbps. WindTre and TIM’s scores are statistically unchanged compared to the last report, while Iliad’s score increased by 0.5 Mbps. This is the first time that WindTre fails to win the Download Speed Experience award since we started reporting on the merged operator back in May 2020.

WindTre joins TIM and Vodafone as a joint winner in 4G Coverage Experience

TIM, Vodafone and WindTre jointly win the 4G Coverage Experience award as the three operators all scored 9.7 on a 10-point scale. No single operator in Italy had managed to win outright any of the past 4G Coverage Experience awards as we always observed multiple operators statistically tied for first place. In the last report, TIM and Vodafone shared the award with a similar score of 9.6 points, while WindTre followed behind at 9.5 points. 4G Coverage Experience measures how mobile subscribers experience 4G coverage on an operator’s network by analyzing the locations where customers of a network operator received a 4G signal relative to the locations visited by users of all network operators.

WindTre wins Upload Speed Experience, but Vodafone is closing in

WindTre maintains a presence in the national awards table by winning its fourth Upload Speed Experience award in a row, despite losing the Download Speed Experience award to Vodafone. But Vodafone has made significant improvements in the past year, as our users’ average upload speeds on its network have risen from 7.1 Mbps in November 2020 to 9 Mbps in our previous report, and to 10.2 Mbps this time. By comparison, WindTre’s score increased from 9.9 Mbps in the Opensignal report a year ago to 10.5 Mbps six months ago. Since then growth has stalled and its score is now statistically unchanged at 10.6 Mbps. If all of these trends continue Vodafone has a good chance of claiming the Upload Speed Experience award in the next report.

Vodafone increases its lead in Video Experience, Games Experience and Voice App Experience

Once again, Vodafone claims victory in all three experiential awards that look at video, multiplayer gaming and voice app communication. Despite all four operators seeing their scores in Video Experience, Games Experience and Voice App Experience decline slightly, Vodafone increased its lead in all three categories as its users saw the smallest change in their experience.

Iliad, TIM and WindTre fall below 90% in 4G Availability

In our May report, we observed all four operators top the 90% mark in 4G Availability for the first time, as Iliad was the last operator to achieve this feat in Italy. This time Iliad, TIM and WindTre’s scores all fall short of the 90% mark, as they reached 81.9%, 87% and 86.4% respectively. Vodafone was the exception, as the operator wins the award with a score of 95.6% — a 0.4 percentage points decrease since our last report compared to the 4.5-8.3 percentage points drops we observed on Iliad, TIM and WindTre.

Introduction

In the past few years, we have seen multiple operators in Italy fighting for dominance in the Opensignal mobile experience awards table. TIM was the dominant player in May 2019 when it won all awards except for 4G Availability, which was claimed by Vodafone. In the next report Vodafone and Wind gained some ground by forcing TIM into multiple ties. Then, the launch of WindTre in early 2020 completely changed the shape of the awards table as we saw the newly merged operator fighting with Vodafone for dominance while TIM was relegated to sharing victory in a single category. This mostly two-sided contest between Vodafone and WindTre continued throughout 2020, but then in 2021 Vodafone made gains across several categories while WindTre’s improvements were modest by comparison. This time our awards table shows Vodafone having a clearly dominant position on Italy’s mobile experience landscape as it wins five out of seven awards outright, while sharing a sixth.

Vodafone has increased its lead in Video Experience, Games Experience, Voice App Experience and 4G Availability, and now it wins outright Download Speed Experience. Vodafone also shares 4G Coverage Experience with TIM and WindTre, while dramatically reducing its gap from WindTre in Upload Speed Experience, which remains the only award that Vodafone has never won.

Italy’s four operators have seen their scores in Video Experience, Games Experience, Voice App Experience and 4G Availability diminish slightly since our previous report to Vodafone’s advantage, as it sustained the smallest declines in all four measures. It is not uncommon to see such falls in mobile experience scores. Often, we see a seasonal effect on the mobile experience in Italy and other countries as mobile users spend more time outdoors in different, more rural, parts of the country during the warmer months.

Italian mobile operators continue to roll out their 5G networks. WindTre reported it now covers more than 95% of the population with 5G using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology that enables it to operate with 4G and 5G simultaneously, while covering 40.6% of the population with its 3.7 GHz spectrum band.

Vodafone recently announced that it will have 5G services in 50 to 60 cities by the end of 2021, up from 25 cities in October. TIM previously reported it will expand its 5G offering to more than 20 cities by the year’s end, while Iliad’s 5G is now available in areas of 27 cities.

In this report, we've analyzed the mobile network experience of Italy's four national operators — Iliad, TIM, Vodafone and WindTre — over a period of 90 days beginning on July 1 and ending on September 28, 2021, to see how they fared. Alongside the national analysis, we've also measured our users' experience in six macro regions. We have also published a companion report — Italy 5G Experience Report — which analyzes the experience of our 5G users when connected to 5G.

This report includes the overall experience for all smartphone users, but we also publish supporting metrics for 5G users' experience. The difference is that these 5G user 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, Italy
November 2021, Italy 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, Italy
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
November 2021, Italy
4G Coverage Experience
Download Image

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Iliad
66.0
TIM
65.7
Vodafone
68.8
WindTre
68.1
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

This is the second report in a row that Vodafone has won the Video Experience award. Vodafone’s score this time is 68.8 points on a 100-point scale, which is 3.2 points lower than we observed in the previous report, but it is 0.7 points above second-placed WindTre. Our users on WindTre, Iliad and TIM saw lower scores of 68.1, 66 and 65.7 points, having decreased by 3.6-4.5 points from last time. All four operators placed in the Very Good (65-75) category.

Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Iliad
66.0
TIM
65.7
Vodafone
68.8
WindTre
68.1
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
70.2 (± 0.82) 71.4 (± 0.69) 73.5 (± 0.48) 72.5 (± 0.33)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Video Experience – 5G Users in 0-100 points
70 (± 0.82)
71 (± 0.69)
74 (± 0.48)
72 (± 0.33)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Opensignal’s Video Experience quantifies the quality of video streamed to mobile devices by measuring real-world video streams over an operator's networks. To calculate video experience, we are directly measuring video streams from end-user devices and using an ITU-based approach to quantify users’ 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.

Games Experience

Vodafone wins the Games Experience award with a score of 67 points, ahead of TIM, WindTre and Iliad scores of 63.5, 59.5 and 58 points, respectively. All four operators saw their scores decrease compared to our previous report. Iliad’s score dropped by 7.1 points, TIM and WindTre both saw declines of six points while Vodafone sustained the smallest decrease of 4.3 points, which allowed it to remain in the Fair category (65-75) while its three competitors obtained Poor ratings (40-65).

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Iliad
58.0
TIM
63.5
Vodafone
67.0
WindTre
59.5
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
63.9 (± 1.13) 69.5 (± 0.92) 71.6 (± 0.72) 63.7 (± 0.57)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Games Experience – 5G Users in 0-100 points
64 (± 1.13)
70 (± 0.92)
72 (± 0.72)
64 (± 0.57)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Opensignal’s Games Experience is a measure of how mobile users experience real-time multiplayer mobile gaming on an operator’s network. Measured on a scale of 0-100, it analyzes how the multiplayer mobile gaming experience is affected by mobile network conditions including latency, packet loss and jitter.

Voice App Experience

Vodafone is the sole winner of the Voice App Experience award for the fourth time in a row, on this occasion with a score of 77.7 points, ahead of TIM, Iliad and WindTre with scores of 76.8, 76.3 and 76.1 points, respectively. Vodafone’s lead increased from 0.3 points to 0.9 points. While all operators saw slight declines to their Voice App Experience scores, Vodafone sustained the smallest decline of two points since our previous report, compared with declines of 2.6-3.1 points for its three competitors.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Iliad
76.3
TIM
76.8
Vodafone
77.7
WindTre
76.1
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
78.5 (± 0.47) 78.9 (± 0.44) 79.4 (± 0.29) 77.0 (± 0.25)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Voice App Experience – 5G Users in 0-100 points
78 (± 0.47)
79 (± 0.44)
79 (± 0.29)
77 (± 0.25)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Opensignal's Voice App Experience measures the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — for example using apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger — using a model derived from an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) approach for quantifying overall voice call quality based on a range of calibrated technical parameters. This model characterizes the exact relationship between real-world technical measurements and users’ perceived call quality. Voice App Experience for each operator is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100.

Download Speed Experience

Vodafone shows the largest improvement in download speeds among the Italian operators — 5.2 Mbps (19.5%) — and jumps ahead of WindTre to win the Download Speed Experience award with a score of 32.1 Mbps. WindTre and TIM scores are statistically unchanged at 30.8 Mbps and 24.6 Mbps respectively, while our Iliad users saw their average download speeds improve by 0.5 Mbps compared to our previous report to reach 27.7 Mbps.

Looking at the overall speeds as experienced by our 5G users, we saw a different story with our TIM 5G users observing the fastest average speeds of 81.1 Mbps, followed by Vodafone, Iliad and WindTre with scores of 70.3 Mbps, 60.1 Mbps and 55.8 Mbps, respectively. These 5G user overall download speeds represent the average speed across all generations of mobile technology and the amount of time 5G users spend connected to each generation. The 5G users analyzed here have both a 5G smartphone model and a 5G tariff plan.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Iliad
27.7
TIM
24.6
Vodafone
32.1
WindTre
30.8
0 8.75 17.5 26.25 35
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Download Speed Experience
Additional Metrics
in Mbps
Download Speed Experience – 5G Users
60.1 (± 1.61) 81.1 (± 3.76) 70.3 (± 2.21) 55.8 (± 0.86)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Download Speed Experience – 5G Users in Mbps
60 (± 1.61)
81 (± 3.76)
70 (± 2.21)
56 (± 0.86)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Upload Speed Experience

WindTre wins the Upload Speed Experience award with a score of 10.6 Mbps which is statistically unchanged compared to our previous report. Vodafone continues to make impressive gains in this category, this time recording a 1.2 Mbps (13.5%) improvement after seeing its score increase by 1.8 Mbps (25.7%) last time, meaning it has now achieved a two-digit score of 10.2 Mbps — just 0.4 Mbps behind WindTre. TIM and Iliad follow behind with their respective scores of 8.7 Mbps and 6.7 Mbps. While TIM’s score this time is statistically unchanged compared to the previous report, Iliad’s score has suffered a slight decrease of 0.2 Mbps.

When we focus on just our 5G users’ overall upload speeds on the four operators, we see a larger gap between WindTre and Vodafone, but this time WindTre’s score is statistically tied with TIM. In fact, our 5G users on both WindTre and TIM on average experienced overall upload speeds of 12.4 Mbps across all mobile network technology generations, compared to the 11.5 Mbps and 7.5 Mbps that our 5G users experienced on Vodafone and Iliad, respectively.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Iliad
6.7
TIM
8.7
Vodafone
10.2
WindTre
10.6
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
7.5 (± 0.22) 12.4 (± 0.43) 11.5 (± 0.26) 12.4 (± 0.22)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users in Mbps
7 (± 0.22)
12 (± 0.43)
11 (± 0.26)
12 (± 0.22)
Mobile Network Experience Report | November 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

4G Availability

Vodafone maintains a clear victory in 4G Availability, with our users on its network spending 95.6% of their time with a 4G or better connection — and a 8.6 percentage points lead over second-placed TIM. While in the previous report we observed all four operators top the 90% mark in 4G Availability for the first time — as Iliad was the last operator to achieve this feat in Italy — this time Iliad, TIM and WindTre’s scores all fall short of the 90% mark. In fact, all four Italian operators experienced declines in their 4G Availability scores but while Vodafone saw a 0.4 percentage points decrease since our last report, we observed 4.5-8.3 percentage points drops on its three competitors.

4G Availability
% of time
Iliad
81.9
TIM
87.0
Vodafone
95.6
WindTre
86.4
0 25 50 75 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Coverage Experience

All four operators have seen their 4G Coverage Experience scores increase since the last report. Iliad showed the largest improvement of 0.4 points, although it is 0.8 points behind the joint winners — TIM, Vodafone and WindTre — which all scored 9.7 points (on a scale of 0-10). No single operator in Italy had managed to win outright any of the past 4G Coverage Experience awards as we always observed multiple operators statistically tied in first place.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Iliad
9.0
TIM
9.7
Vodafone
9.7
WindTre
9.7
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Opensignal's 4G Coverage Experience is a measure of how Opensignal's users 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 Opensignal users of all network operators.

Regional Analysis

In our analysis of Italy's six macro regions we saw Vodafone win the lion’s share of the regional awards as the operator outmatched its competitors in most categories. Out of the 36 awards that were up for the taking in total, Vodafone wins 27 awards outright, while sharing victory in other five awards. WindTre wins four awards outright, while sharing three with Vodafone. This time TIM’s presence in our regional awards table consists of only two shared victories with Vodafone in Voice App Experience. By comparison, in our previous report we saw fierce competition for the regional awards as Vodafone and WindTre won 16 awards and 13 awards outright, while TIM featured as the sole winner in one award.

Vodafone wins Video Experience awards outright in Central, Sardinia, Sicily and South, while WindTre wins in North East and North West. Despite Vodafone winning the Video Experience award at the national level and collecting most of the regional awards, it was WindTre that recorded the highest Video Experience scores — 70.9 and 70.8 points, in the North East and North West regions respectively.

Vodafone wins all Games Experience regional awards outright, and is the sole winner of four Voice App Experience awards while sharing the prize with TIM in the remaining two regions — North West and Sardinia. We observed the highest Games Experience scores on Vodafone’s network in the North West and North East where the operator scored 72.5 points and 71.9 points, respectively.

Vodafone wins all six regional 4G Availability awards and was the only operator to exceed the 95% mark in 4G Availability, as it topped that threshold across all geographies except for the Central region where it scored 94.5%. All of Iliad, TIM and WindTre’s 4G Availability scores were below the 90% mark. Iliad’s 4G Availability ranged between 80.1% and 82.5%, TIM’s scores were between 84.7% and 88.7%, while our WindTre users spent between 83.8% and 87.9% of their time with a 4G or better connection.

Vodafone’s big strides in both Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience that we have observed nationally have carried through into the regional results. While in our previous report WindTre won outright 11 out of the total 12 awards available across Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience, this time Vodafone wins seven awards outright, while sharing the award with WindTre three times. WindTre now wins outright only two of the regional speed awards — Upload Speed Experience in North East and North West.

We recorded the fastest Download Speed Experience in the North East where Vodafone and WindTre had statistically tied scores of 38.8 Mbps and 38.6 Mbps, respectively. Iliad’s highest score was also in the North East — 32.7 Mbps — while our TIM users enjoyed the fastest download speeds in the North West — 30.2 Mbps. Also, we saw the fastest Upload Speed Experience in the two Northern regions as WindTre scored 12 Mbps in both the North East and North West. Vodafone and Iliad saw their fastest average speed in the North East — 10.8 Mbps and 7.2 Mbps, respectively — while our TIM users enjoyed the fastest upload speeds in the North West (10.4 Mbps).

Select any region or city below to display individual breakdown

Central

Video Experience
in Central
in 0-100 points
Iliad
65.1
TIM
64.8
Vodafone
69.1
WindTre
66.4
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Games Experience
in Central
in 0-100 points
Iliad
56.2
TIM
63.4
Vodafone
65.8
WindTre
54.8
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Voice App Experience
in Central
in 0-100 points
Iliad
75.6
TIM
76.5
Vodafone
77.3
WindTre
75.0
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Download Speed Experience
in Central
in Mbps
Iliad
25.3
TIM
22.7
Vodafone
31.0
WindTre
27.1
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Upload Speed Experience
in Central
in Mbps
Iliad
6.4
TIM
8.1
Vodafone
10.3
WindTre
9.3
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4G Availability
in Central
% of time
Iliad
80.6
TIM
84.7
Vodafone
94.5
WindTre
83.8
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North East

Video Experience
in North East
in 0-100 points
Iliad
67.9
TIM
67.4
Vodafone
70.3
WindTre
70.9
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Games Experience
in North East
in 0-100 points
Iliad
61.9
TIM
64.6
Vodafone
71.9
WindTre
66.1
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Voice App Experience
in North East
in 0-100 points
Iliad
77.4
TIM
76.5
Vodafone
78.3
WindTre
77.7
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Download Speed Experience
in North East
in Mbps
Iliad
32.7
TIM
28.4
Vodafone
38.8
WindTre
38.6
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Upload Speed Experience
in North East
in Mbps
Iliad
7.2
TIM
9.9
Vodafone
10.8
WindTre
12.0
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4G Availability
in North East
% of time
Iliad
82.5
TIM
85.0
Vodafone
95.6
WindTre
87.9
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North West

Video Experience
in North West
in 0-100 points
Iliad
67.5
TIM
68.3
Vodafone
70.4
WindTre
70.8
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Games Experience
in North West
in 0-100 points
Iliad
61.3
TIM
71.3
Vodafone
72.5
WindTre
65.9
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Voice App Experience
in North West
in 0-100 points
Iliad
77.0
TIM
78.3
Vodafone
78.1
WindTre
77.4
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Download Speed Experience
in North West
in Mbps
Iliad
30.0
TIM
30.2
Vodafone
35.2
WindTre
35.1
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Upload Speed Experience
in North West
in Mbps
Iliad
7.0
TIM
10.4
Vodafone
10.5
WindTre
12.0
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4G Availability
in North West
% of time
Iliad
82.4
TIM
87.9
Vodafone
95.8
WindTre
87.8
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Sardinia

Video Experience
in Sardinia
in 0-100 points
Iliad
64.4
TIM
65.7
Vodafone
67.7
WindTre
66.7
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Games Experience
in Sardinia
in 0-100 points
Iliad
56.0
TIM
60.8
Vodafone
63.4
WindTre
56.8
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Voice App Experience
in Sardinia
in 0-100 points
Iliad
75.1
TIM
77.2
Vodafone
77.6
WindTre
74.3
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Download Speed Experience
in Sardinia
in Mbps
Iliad
24.3
TIM
22.0
Vodafone
29.6
WindTre
27.1
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Upload Speed Experience
in Sardinia
in Mbps
Iliad
6.2
TIM
7.9
Vodafone
9.8
WindTre
9.1
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4G Availability
in Sardinia
% of time
Iliad
81.7
TIM
86.8
Vodafone
95.1
WindTre
85.0
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Sicily

Video Experience
in Sicily
in 0-100 points
Iliad
64.2
TIM
64.5
Vodafone
68.0
WindTre
66.7
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Games Experience
in Sicily
in 0-100 points
Iliad
54.7
TIM
55.8
Vodafone
62.7
WindTre
57.0
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Voice App Experience
in Sicily
in 0-100 points
Iliad
75.8
TIM
76.2
Vodafone
77.8
WindTre
76.0
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Download Speed Experience
in Sicily
in Mbps
Iliad
24.2
TIM
21.1
Vodafone
29.8
WindTre
27.5
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Upload Speed Experience
in Sicily
in Mbps
Iliad
6.0
TIM
8.0
Vodafone
10.6
WindTre
10.7
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4G Availability
in Sicily
% of time
Iliad
81.8
TIM
88.7
Vodafone
95.6
WindTre
86.5
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South

Video Experience
in South
in 0-100 points
Iliad
64.4
TIM
63.4
Vodafone
66.7
WindTre
65.4
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Games Experience
in South
in 0-100 points
Iliad
52.3
TIM
57.8
Vodafone
60.5
WindTre
51.9
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Voice App Experience
in South
in 0-100 points
Iliad
74.5
TIM
75.2
Vodafone
76.4
WindTre
74.0
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Download Speed Experience
in South
in Mbps
Iliad
24.1
TIM
20.4
Vodafone
26.8
WindTre
24.9
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Upload Speed Experience
in South
in Mbps
Iliad
6.3
TIM
7.3
Vodafone
9.2
WindTre
9.0
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4G Availability
in South
% of time
Iliad
80.1
TIM
88.0
Vodafone
95.5
WindTre
84.6
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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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