Belgium

Mobile Network Experience Report
March 2022

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: Sam Fenwick, Senior Analyst Data Collection Period: Nov 01 - Jan 29, 2022

Belgium

Mobile Network Experience Report
March 2022

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: Sam Fenwick, Senior Analyst

Data Collection Period: Nov 01 - Jan 29, 2022

Key Findings

Telenet wins the Availability Award

Opensignal’s Telenet users spent the greatest proportion of time connected to either 3G, 4G or 5G networks — 97.5% — making Telenet the outright winner of the Availability award. Orange and Proximus are in joint second place with statistically tied scores in the 96-96.3% range.

Proximus comes top for 4G Coverage Experience

Our users on Proximus’ network saw 4G signals in 9.9 out of 10 locations visited by our Belgian users across all three operators, while Orange and Telenet were close behind with scores of 9.8 and 9.7, respectively. As a result, Proximus is the outright winner of the 4G Coverage Experience award.

Our users saw their highest average download speeds on Proximus and Telenet’s networks

Proximus and Telenet are joint winners of the Download Speed Experience award with statistically tied scores of 40.3-41.9 Mbps. This puts Orange in last place with a score of 36.4 Mbps.

Orange and Proximus come top for upload speeds

Our users saw their highest average upload speeds on Proximus and Orange’s networks due to a statistical tie. Their scores of 12.1-12.2 Mbps were around 1.7 Mbps higher than that of last placed Telenet. Upload speeds are becoming increasingly important to users as social media encourages them to create and share more content, instead of simply consuming it.

Opensignal’s users had their best mobile gaming experience on Proximus and Orange’s networks

Orange and Proximus are joint winners of the Games Experience award, with statistically tied scores of 73.6-75.9 points on a 100 point scale. The two front-runners command a lead of more than 15 points over last-placed Telenet.

Mobile Experience Awards

March 2022, Belgium Report
Download Image

Market Overview

Our latest look at the Belgian mobile network experience indicates a closely fought race across many categories. Five out of nine awards are shared by two or more operators, including two three-way-ties (Video Experience and Voice App Experience). However, there were some outright wins. Our Telenet users spent the most time connected to 3G, 4G or 5G (Availability); those on Proximus’s network found a 4G signal in the most locations visited by our users across all three operators (4G Coverage Experience), while Orange is the outright winner of the Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality awards.

Much has been happening recently in the Belgian mobile market. In February this year, Orange announced that it had launched 5G mobile services in Antwerp using temporary spectrum provided by the regulator and said that it intends to extend 5G coverage to the cities of Ghent, Bruges and Leuven, together with those in coastal areas of the Flanders regions over the coming months. Back in December 2021, Telenet began gradually launching its 5G network, starting around Leuven, Antwerp and the coast, again using temporary spectrum. Proximus launched commercial 5G services in April 2020, using its existing spectrum and infrastructure.

Operators have had to launch 5G with temporary spectrum or their existing spectrum because the auctioning of 5G spectrum is not scheduled until June. 390 MHz in the 3600 MHz band will be up for auction, along with existing 2G and 3G spectrum, 90 MHz in the 1400 MHz band (L-band) and 2 x 30 MHz in the 700 MHz band.

In this report, we’ve analyzed the mobile network experience for Belgium’s three national operators, Orange, Proximus and Telenet, over the 90-day period starting on November 1, 2021 and ending January 29, 2022. Our 5G users contributed to the overall mobile network experience measures covered in this report.

Overall Experience
Coverage
Consistency
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Orange
59.6
Proximus
60.1
Telenet
60.3
0 16.5 33 49.5 66
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Orange
75.9
Proximus
73.6
Telenet
58.1
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Orange
79.8
Proximus
79.4
Telenet
78.7
0 21.5 43 64.5 86
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Orange
36.4
Proximus
40.3
Telenet
41.9
0 11.5 23 34.5 46
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Orange
12.2
Proximus
12.1
Telenet
10.4
0 4 8 12 16
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image

Definitions

Opensignal’s Video Experience quantifies the quality of video streamed to mobile devices by measuring real-world video streams over an operator's networks. The metric is based on an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 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, we are directly measuring video streams from end-user devices and using this ITU 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 — including Full HD (FHD) and 4K / Ultra HD (UHD) — and are streamed directly from the world’s largest video content providers.

In addition to Video Experience, we report on the following metrics related to video experience:

  • 5G Video Experience: The average Video Experience of Opensignal users when they were connected to an operator’s 5G network.
  • Video Experience – 5G Users: The average Video Experience of Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription across an operator's networks. It factors in 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G video experience along with the availability of each technology.
  • 4G Video Experience: The average Video Experience of Opensignal users on an operator's 4G network.
  • 3G Video Experience: The average Video Experience of Opensignal users on an operator’s 3G network.

Definitions

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

Games Experience quantifies the experience when playing real-time multiplayer mobile games on mobile devices connected to servers located around the world. The approach 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). Additionally, it considers multiple genres of multiplayer mobile games to measure the average sensitivity to network conditions. The games tested include some of the most popular real-time multiplayer mobile games (such as Fortnite, Pro Evolution Soccer and Arena of Valor) played around the world.

Calculating Games Experience starts with measuring the end-to-end experience from users’ devices to internet end-points that host real games. The score is then measured on a scale from 0 to 100.

In addition to Games Experience, we report on the following metrics related to games experience:

  • 5G Games Experience: The average Games Experience of Opensignal users when they were connected to an operator’s 5G network.
  • Games Experience – 5G Users: The average Games Experience of Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription across an operator's networks. It factors in 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G games experience along with the availability of each technology.
  • 4G Games Experience: The average Games Experience of Opensignal users on an operator's 4G network.
  • 3G Games Experience: The average Games Experience of Opensignal users on an operator's 3G (e.g. UMTS/HSPA or CDMA 1X EV-DO) network.

Definitions

Opensignal's Voice App Experience measures the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — mobile voice apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger — using a model derived from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 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. Voice App Experience for each operator is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100.

In addition to Voice App Experience, we report on the following metrics related to voice app experience:

  • 5G Voice App Experience: The average Voice App Experience of Opensignal users when they were connected to an operator’s 5G network.
  • Voice App Experience – 5G Users: The average Voice App Experience of Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription across an operator's networks. It factors in 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G voice app experience along with the availability of each technology.
  • 4G Voice App Experience: The average Voice App Experience of Opensignal users on an operator's 4G network.
  • 3G Voice App Experience: The average Voice App Experience of Opensignal users on an operator's 3G (e.g. UMTS/HSPA or CDMA 1X EV-DO) network.

Definitions

Measured in Mbps, Download Speed Experience represents the typical everyday speeds a user experiences across an operator’s mobile data networks.

In addition to Download Speed Experience, we report on the following metrics related to download speeds:

  • 5G Download Speed: The average download speed observed by Opensignal users with active 5G connections.
  • Download Speed Experience – 5G Users: The average download speeds experienced by Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription across an operator’s networks. It factors in 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G download speeds along with the availability of each technology.
  • 4G Download Speed: The average downlink speed observed by Opensignal users when they were connected to 4G.
  • 3G Download Speed: The average downlink speed observed by Opensignal users when they were connected to 3G (e.g. UMTS/HSPA or CDMA 1X EV-DO).

Definitions

Upload Speed Experience measures the average upload speeds for each operator observed by our users across their mobile data networks. Typically upload speeds are slower than download speeds, as current mobile broadband technologies focus resources on providing the best possible download speed for users consuming content on their devices. As mobile internet trends move away from downloading content to creating content and supporting real-time communications services, upload speeds are becoming more vital and new technologies are emerging that boost upstream capacity.

In addition to Upload Speed Experience, we report on five supporting metrics related to upload speeds:

  • 5G Upload Speed: The average upload speed observed by Opensignal users with active 5G connections.
  • Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users: The average upload speeds experienced by Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription across an operator’s networks. It factors in 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G upload speeds along with the availability of each technology.
  • 4G Upload Speed: The average uplink speed observed by Opensignal users when they were connected to 4G.
  • 3G Upload Speed: The average uplink speed observed by Opensignal users when they were connected to 3G (e.g. UMTS/HSPA or CDMA 1X EV-DO).

Learn more

Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Availability
% of time
Orange
96.0
Proximus
96.3
Telenet
97.5
0 25 50 75 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Orange
9.8
Proximus
9.9
Telenet
9.7
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image

Definitions

Our availability metrics are not a measure of a network’s geographical extent. They won’t tell you whether you are likely to get a signal if you plan to visit a remote rural or nearly uninhabited region. Instead, they measure what proportion of time people have a network connection, in the places they most commonly frequent — something often missed by traditional coverage metrics. Looking at when users have a connection rather than where, provides us with a more precise reflection of the true user experience.

We also keep track of the instances that leave mobile users most frustrated: when there is no signal to connect to at all. The most common dead zones users struggle with occur indoors. As most of our availability data is collected indoors (as that’s where users spend most of their time), we’re particularly astute at detecting areas of zero signal.

Our availability metrics take a user-centric, time-based approach that complements the user-centric and geographical-based methodology used by our reach metrics.

Availability shows the proportion of time all Opensignal users on an operator’s network had either a 3G, 4G or 5G connection.

Definitions

4G Coverage Experience measures 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.

Learn more

Excellent Consistent Quality
Core Consistent Quality
Excellent Consistent Quality
% of tests
Orange
85.8
Proximus
84.7
Telenet
79.1
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Core Consistent Quality
% of tests
Orange
93.1
Proximus
92.3
Telenet
90.7
0 24 48 72 96
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image

Definitions

Consistent Quality measures how often users’ experience on a network was sufficient to support common applications’ requirements. It measures download speed, upload speed, latency, jitter, packet loss, time to first byte and the percentage of tests attempted which did not succeed due to a connectivity issue on either the download or server response component.

The Consistent Quality metrics — Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality — are calculated using data from our sister company Tutela and uses its methodology, full details of which can be found here.

Excellent Consistent Quality is the percentage of users’ tests that met the minimum recommended performance thresholds to watch HD video, complete group video conference calls and play games.

Definitions

Consistent Quality measures how often users’ experience on a network was sufficient to support common applications’ requirements. It measures download speed, upload speed, latency, jitter, packet loss, time to first byte and the percentage of tests attempted which did not succeed due to a connectivity issue on either the download or server response component.

The Consistent Quality metrics — Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality — are calculated using data from our sister company Tutela and uses its methodology, full details of which can be found here.

Core Consistent Quality is the percentage of users’ tests that met the minimum recommended performance thresholds for lower performance applications including SD video, voice calls and web browsing.

Learn more

Related Analysis

Our Methodology

Collecting billions of individual measurements daily from over 100 million devices globally, Opensignal independently analyzes mobile user experience on every major network operator around the globe.

About Opensignal

Opensignal is the mobile analytics company committed to improving mobile connectivity across the globe. We are the independent authority for understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.

Check how your internet connection impacts your favorite apps with the Meteor App