Mobile Network Experience Report Costa Rica December 2021

Costa Rica

Mobile Network Experience Report
December 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
Hardik Khatri Technical Analyst

Key Findings

Kölbi wins the Download Speed Experience award — but Claro is closing the gap

Our users in Costa Rica continue to enjoy the fastest overall Download Speed Experience on Kölbi's network, with speeds averaging above 20 Mbps. However, since the last report, Kölbi's lead has shrunk down to less than a third — from 6.1 Mbps (39.9%) to 2 Mbps (10.5%). This change occurred due to a 3.8 Mbps improvement observed by our users on Claro and a slight decline of 0.2 Mbps seen by users on Kölbi. Movistar continues to lag way behind, with users reporting significantly lower download speeds of 8.8 Mbps compared to the speeds seen using the other operators.

Claro increases its lead in Upload Speed Experience

In the last report, we saw Claro claim our Upload Speed Experience award. This time, Claro has not just held onto the award but has also increased its winning margin on second-placed Kölbi in this measure of the mobile experience. Claro's lead on Kölbi has grown from 1.1 Mbps (19.1%) to 1.9 Mbps (30.2%) in Upload Speed Experience. Upload speeds are becoming an increasingly important aspect of user experience because smartphone users now engage more on social media apps — creating and sharing high-resolution images and videos — and are moving away from content consumption to content creation.

Claro reigns supreme on 4G Availability in Costa Rica

Claro once again wins the 4G Availability award. The average proportion of time that our Claro users spent connected to 4G has increased by 1.3 percentage points since the last report to reach a score of 84.8%. In contrast, Kölbi's 4G Availability score dropped by 2.4 percentage points to 67.2%, while Movistar's score was little changed at 80.6%. These scores mean that 4G users in Costa Rica were able to connect to a 4G network more than 6.7 to almost 8.5 times out of 10 times, depending on their choice of network.

Kölbi and Movistar are joint winners of the 4G Coverage Experience award

Users on all three operators saw slight improvements in their 4G Coverage Experience. Claro's score increased by 0.7 on a 10-point scale. While Movistar’s score grew by 0.4 points compared to the 0.2 point upswing seen by our users on Kölbi. After these changes, Movistar and Kölbi now share the top spot for 4G Coverage Experience, with statistically tied scores of 7.8 points.

Claro remains the outright winner of the Games Experience and Voice App Experience awards

Claro once again leads in this measure of the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — on mobile apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger. The operator wins the Voice App Experience award with a score of 78.5 points (out of 100) — 5.8 points ahead of its closest rival Kölbi — making Claro the only operator to earn an Acceptable (74<80) Voice App Experience rating. Claro is also top on multiplayer mobile gaming, winning Opensignal's Games Experience award with 57 points, while Kölbi is second-placed with a score of 38.3 which is 18.8 points (49%) lower than the winning operator.

Introduction

In this report, we've analyzed the mobile network experience of Costa Rica's three national operators — Claro, Kölbi and Movistar— in the 90 days starting August 1, 2021, and ending October 29, 2021 to see how they measure up. In addition, we delved deeper into seven different regions of Costa Rica, comparing the experience users had on the three national operators.

Our latest look at Costa Rica shows that Claro is the operator to beat on mobile network experience as Claro has the largest number of awards in this report. Claro wins all four national award categories that it won last time, with improved scores in 4G Availability and Upload Speed Experience, alongside defending its victory in Games Experience and Voice App Experience. Additionally, the operator has also cut Kölbi's lead in Download Speed Experience to a third, compared to the last report.

Claro also shines in the regional results by scooping away the Voice App Experience and Games Experience outright across all seven regions. Plus, in Upload Speed Experience the operator wins outright in five regions and further collects draws in Cartago and Limon.

Opensignal Awards Table

Mobile Experience Awards, Costa Rica
December 2021, Costa Rica Report
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
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Mobile Experience Awards Winners
December 2021, Costa Rica
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
4G Availability
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
December 2021, Costa Rica
Video Experience
4G Coverage Experience
Download Image

Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
54.9
Kölbi
57.7
Movistar
57.3
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

Video Experience

Kölbi and Movistar are the joint winners of Opensignal's Video Experience award with statistically tied scores of 57.7 and 57.3 (out of 100), which gives both a Good rating (55<65). Meanwhile, Claro was close behind with a score of 54.9 points which places our Claro users' Video Experience in the Fair category (40<55).

Opensignal's Video Experience directly assesses video streams from end-user devices and uses an International Telecommunication Union (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
Claro
54.9
Kölbi
57.7
Movistar
57.3
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
4G Video Experience
59.1 (± 0.78) 68.0 (± 0.54) 64.2 (± 0.51)
3G Video Experience
39.0 (± 1.57) 40.2 (± 1.00) 35.5 (± 1.42)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Video Experience in 0-100 points
59 (± 0.78)
68 (± 0.54)
64 (± 0.51)
3G Video Experience in 0-100 points
39 (± 1.57)
40 (± 1.00)
35 (± 1.42)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

A Good rating indicates that users saw a less consistent experience, even from the same video streaming provider and particularly for higher resolutions, with noticeably slower loading times and stalling not being uncommon.

Games Experience

Claro remains the outright winner of Opensignal's Games Experience award, with a score of 57 points (on a 100-point scale) this time, as its competitors, Kölbi and Movistar, continue to lag with significantly lower scores — 38.3 and 36.4 points, respectively. While our Claro and Kölbi users reported slight dips of 0.8 and 1.5 points, respectively, Movistar users saw an upswing of 0.2 points.

Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
57.0
Kölbi
38.3
Movistar
36.4
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
4G Games Experience
63.3 (± 0.70) 45.8 (± 0.53) 38.9 (± 0.30)
3G Games Experience
38.7 (± 0.62) 34.0 (± 0.14) 32.3 (± 0.19)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Games Experience in 0-100 points
63 (± 0.70)
46 (± 0.53)
39 (± 0.30)
3G Games Experience in 0-100 points
39 (± 0.62)
34 (± 0.14)
32 (± 0.19)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Opensignal’s Games Experience metric 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 to determine the impact on gameplay and the overall multiplayer gaming experience. Lower scores meant users' experience became less enjoyable, marred with increased delays and a lack of controllability in gameplay.

Voice App Experience

Claro holds on to our Voice App Experience award with a score of 78.5 points (out of 100). The operator's lead over second-placed Kölbi (72.7) has increased slightly since the last report, rising from 5 points to 5.8 points. This is due to a 0.8 points dip reported by our Claro users and further declines of 1.1 to 1.5 points reported by our users on Kölbi and Movistar. Under these changes, only Claro's score places in the Acceptable category (74<80) for the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — mobile voice apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger, while Kölbi and Movistar place one rating lower in the Poor (66<74) category.

Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
78.5
Kölbi
72.7
Movistar
70.4
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
4G Voice App Experience
80.2 (± 0.31) 76.7 (± 0.26) 73.0 (± 0.29)
3G Voice App Experience
72.2 (± 0.79) 66.0 (± 0.50) 62.4 (± 0.65)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
80 (± 0.31)
77 (± 0.26)
73 (± 0.29)
3G Voice App Experience in 0-100 points
72 (± 0.79)
66 (± 0.50)
62 (± 0.65)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

An Acceptable rating means some users were satisfied with the quality of the call and were generally able to comprehend without repetition, while some may have suffered from perceptible call quality impairments such as clicking sounds or distortion. Likewise, a Poor rating means many users were dissatisfied and likely suffered from increased call quality impairments.

Download Speed Experience

Kölbi retains the top spot on Download Speed Experience with a score of 21 Mbps. However, its lead has shrunk significantly over the last year. Since the report in December 2020, Claro has eroded Kölbi's lead over it from 10.3 Mbps (87.7%) down to 2 Mbps (10.5%). Our users on Claro's network experienced the most significant boost with download speeds averaging 3.8 Mbps (25.1%) faster. Meanwhile, Movistar users saw a 1.1 Mbps increase, but their Download Speed Experience (8.8 Mbps) continues to lag significantly compared to other national operators.

Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Claro
19.0
Kölbi
21.0
Movistar
8.8
0 6.25 12.5 18.75 25
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Download Speed Experience
Additional Metrics
in Mbps
4G Download Speed
22.3 (± 0.56) 30.7 (± 0.38) 10.0 (± 0.09)
3G Download Speed
6.6 (± 0.29) 4.4 (± 0.09) 5.2 (± 0.13)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Download Speed in Mbps
22 (± 0.56)
31 (± 0.38)
10 (± 0.09)
3G Download Speed in Mbps
7 (± 0.29)
4 (± 0.09)
5 (± 0.13)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Looking at Download Speed Experience split out by mobile technology generation, Our Kölbi users continued to see the fastest average 4G download speeds (30.7 Mbps). However, Claro users saw a good increase (3.2 Mbps) to close the gap on the leader with a score of 22.3 Mbps. However, in 3G Download Speed, Claro beat Kölbi with a noteworthy improvement of the speeds users saw from 3.7 Mbps to 6.6 Mbps, followed by Movistar's score of 5.2 Mbps, while Kölbi placed third with 4.4 Mbps.

Upload Speed Experience

Our users have experienced slightly improved upload speeds across all three national networks since the last report. Our users on Claro's network saw an improvement of 0.9 Mbps (13.2%) in their Upload Speed Experience, followed by those on Movistar’s who reported a 0.7 Mbps (14.8%) increase with speeds averaging 5.4 Mbps. As a result, Claro once again wins the Upload Speed Experience award, this time with a score of 8.1 Mbps, and it has enhanced its lead over Kölbi's score (6.2 Mbps) from 1.1 Mbps to 1.9 Mbps. Meanwhile, Movistar's score also increased by 0.7 Mbps (14.8%) to 5.4 Mbps.

Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Claro
8.1
Kölbi
6.2
Movistar
5.4
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Upload Speed Experience
Additional Metrics
in Mbps
4G Upload Speed
9.8 (± 0.23) 8.9 (± 0.14) 6.3 (± 0.09)
3G Upload Speed
1.7 (± 0.09) 1.5 (± 0.05) 2.3 (± 0.11)
+/- numeric values represent confidence intervals.
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2021 | © Opensignal Limited
4G Upload Speed in Mbps
10 (± 0.23)
9 (± 0.14)
6 (± 0.09)
3G Upload Speed in Mbps
2 (± 0.09)
2 (± 0.05)
2 (± 0.11)
Mobile Network Experience Report | December 2021 | © Opensignal Inc.

Upload speeds are becoming increasingly important in mobile services, with changing usage patterns and consumption habits. For example, mobile users now engage more on social media apps — creating and sharing high-resolution images and videos — and are moving away from content consumption to content creation, which gives operators with the fastest upload speeds a distinct advantage.

4G Availability

Claro once again has romped home to victory on 4G Availability and maintains a clear win with our users on its network spending 84.8% of their time with a 4G connection — an increase of 1.3 percentage points since the last report. On the other hand, our users on Kölbi and Movistar users experienced declining or flat 4G Availability. These trends since the last report have helped Claro expand its lead over second-placed Movistar from 2.7 to 4.1 percentage points. Meanwhile, Kölbi users spent the lowest proportion of time connected to 4G, on average, in Costa Rica.

4G Availability
% of time
Claro
84.8
Kölbi
67.2
Movistar
80.6
0 21.25 42.5 63.75 85
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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4G Availability shows the proportion of time users with a 4G device and subscription have a 4G connection. High 4G Availability positively affects overall scores in the speed or experiential metrics.

4G Coverage Experience

Since the last report, Costa Rica's all three operators have seen their 4G Coverage Experience scores improve. Claro showed the largest improvement of 0.7 points, although it is more than one point behind joint winners Kölbi and Movistar who have a statistically tied score of 7.8 points on a scale of 0-10. In the last report, Kölbi was the outright winner but this time the operator shares the award as our Movistar users reported roughly twice the increase in 4G Coverage Experience score seen by Kölbi users.

4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Claro
6.7
Kölbi
7.8
Movistar
7.8
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Regional Analysis

Our regional analysis assessed how users’ mobile network experience varies across seven different regions of Costa Rica: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas and San Jose. The results highlight how our users' experience on the three national operators – Claro, Kölbi and Movistar – compares, depending on their locations.

As with the national results, Claro dominates regional results for mobile Games Experience and Voice App Experience. Claro wins all awards outright in both categories in each of the seven regions. While Claro's winning scores in Games Experience ranged from 48.3 points in Limon to 60.7 points in Heredia, those in Voice App Experience ranged between 76.5 points in Limon and 79.8 points in Heredia — all placing in the Acceptable category (74<80).

Turning to Video Experience, in line with our national analysis, most regional awards for this category are shared by Kölbi and Movistar, with a few exceptions: Kölbi is the outright winner in Cartago, while all three operators are joint-winners in Guanacaste and Puntarenas.

The clean sweep across regions that Kölbi had achieved on Download Speed Experience, in our previous report, has ceased to exist as Claro now jointly wins the award alongside Kölbi in four out of seven regions — Alajuela, Guanacaste, Heredia and Puntarenas. Kölbi remains the outright winner in the remaining three regions, with scores soaring up to 24.8 Mbps in Cartago. On the other hand, the download speeds seen by our users on Movistar are yet to surpass the 10 Mbps mark in any of the seven regions.

In regional Upload Speed Experience, Claro wins in five regions and further collects joint wins in the other two regions — in Cartago with Kölbi and in Limon, where all three operators are joint winners.

Select any region or city below to display individual breakdown

Alajuela

Video Experience
in Alajuela
in 0-100 points
Claro
53.9
Kölbi
56.5
Movistar
56.1
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Games Experience
in Alajuela
in 0-100 points
Claro
56.5
Kölbi
37.2
Movistar
35.9
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Voice App Experience
in Alajuela
in 0-100 points
Claro
78.8
Kölbi
71.6
Movistar
69.8
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Download Speed Experience
in Alajuela
in Mbps
Claro
18.4
Kölbi
18.7
Movistar
8.4
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Upload Speed Experience
in Alajuela
in Mbps
Claro
7.8
Kölbi
5.7
Movistar
4.7
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4G Availability
in Alajuela
% of time
Claro
82.4
Kölbi
61.5
Movistar
76.7
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Cartago

Video Experience
in Cartago
in 0-100 points
Claro
52.7
Kölbi
61.0
Movistar
57.5
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Games Experience
in Cartago
in 0-100 points
Claro
58.6
Kölbi
40.6
Movistar
37.7
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Voice App Experience
in Cartago
in 0-100 points
Claro
79.3
Kölbi
74.7
Movistar
72.5
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Download Speed Experience
in Cartago
in Mbps
Claro
17.1
Kölbi
24.8
Movistar
8.9
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Upload Speed Experience
in Cartago
in Mbps
Claro
7.8
Kölbi
8.5
Movistar
5.5
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4G Availability
in Cartago
% of time
Claro
86.9
Kölbi
75.7
Movistar
84.8
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Guanacaste

Video Experience
in Guanacaste
in 0-100 points
Claro
57.8
Kölbi
54.8
Movistar
55.4
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Games Experience
in Guanacaste
in 0-100 points
Claro
51.6
Kölbi
37.0
Movistar
36.5
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Voice App Experience
in Guanacaste
in 0-100 points
Claro
77.7
Kölbi
71.8
Movistar
71.1
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Download Speed Experience
in Guanacaste
in Mbps
Claro
21.5
Kölbi
20.4
Movistar
8.7
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Upload Speed Experience
in Guanacaste
in Mbps
Claro
7.0
Kölbi
5.2
Movistar
5.1
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4G Availability
in Guanacaste
% of time
Claro
73.3
Kölbi
57.3
Movistar
76.0
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Heredia

Video Experience
in Heredia
in 0-100 points
Claro
57.1
Kölbi
60.5
Movistar
60.4
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Games Experience
in Heredia
in 0-100 points
Claro
60.7
Kölbi
40.0
Movistar
37.8
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Voice App Experience
in Heredia
in 0-100 points
Claro
79.8
Kölbi
74.7
Movistar
72.5
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Download Speed Experience
in Heredia
in Mbps
Claro
21.3
Kölbi
23.5
Movistar
9.8
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Upload Speed Experience
in Heredia
in Mbps
Claro
9.4
Kölbi
6.2
Movistar
6.3
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4G Availability
in Heredia
% of time
Claro
87.8
Kölbi
71.8
Movistar
83.0
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Limon

Video Experience
in Limon
in 0-100 points
Claro
47.1
Kölbi
51.9
Movistar
53.5
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Games Experience
in Limon
in 0-100 points
Claro
48.3
Kölbi
36.7
Movistar
35.5
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Voice App Experience
in Limon
in 0-100 points
Claro
76.5
Kölbi
71.6
Movistar
69.2
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Download Speed Experience
in Limon
in Mbps
Claro
13.2
Kölbi
17.5
Movistar
8.0
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Upload Speed Experience
in Limon
in Mbps
Claro
5.4
Kölbi
5.0
Movistar
4.7
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4G Availability
in Limon
% of time
Claro
78.8
Kölbi
57.5
Movistar
78.8
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Puntarenas

Video Experience
in Puntarenas
in 0-100 points
Claro
52.2
Kölbi
51.9
Movistar
54.1
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Games Experience
in Puntarenas
in 0-100 points
Claro
54.8
Kölbi
36.5
Movistar
35.8
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Voice App Experience
in Puntarenas
in 0-100 points
Claro
78.2
Kölbi
70.7
Movistar
69.3
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Download Speed Experience
in Puntarenas
in Mbps
Claro
20.7
Kölbi
18.6
Movistar
8.5
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Upload Speed Experience
in Puntarenas
in Mbps
Claro
7.0
Kölbi
4.9
Movistar
4.5
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4G Availability
in Puntarenas
% of time
Claro
76.8
Kölbi
57.7
Movistar
74.4
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San Jose

Video Experience
in San Jose
in 0-100 points
Claro
57.1
Kölbi
61.7
Movistar
61.2
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Games Experience
in San Jose
in 0-100 points
Claro
59.8
Kölbi
40.6
Movistar
38.1
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Voice App Experience
in San Jose
in 0-100 points
Claro
79.2
Kölbi
74.6
Movistar
72.6
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Download Speed Experience
in San Jose
in Mbps
Claro
19.2
Kölbi
23.2
Movistar
9.5
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Upload Speed Experience
in San Jose
in Mbps
Claro
8.9
Kölbi
7.2
Movistar
6.5
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4G Availability
in San Jose
% of time
Claro
86.4
Kölbi
74.2
Movistar
85.6
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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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