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.