El Salvador

Mobile Network Experience Report
June 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: Feb 01 - May 01, 2022

El Salvador

Mobile Network Experience Report
June 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: Feb 01 - May 01, 2022

Key Findings

Claro users see the fastest download and upload speeds

Claro is the outright winner of the Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience awards. It wins the former with a score of 24.5 Mbps and a lead of 9.4 Mbps over second-placed Tigo. The 9.5 Mbps average upload speed seen by our Claro users was 2.2-2.7 Mbps faster than Digicel and Tigo’s scores.

Tigo shares the 4G Availability and 4G Coverage Experience awards with Claro

Our users spent the largest proportion of time connected to 4G and in the greatest proportion of locations visited on Claro and Tigo’s networks. Therefore Claro and Tigo are joint winners of the 4G Availability and 4G Coverage Experience awards. Their 4G Availability scores are statistically tied in the 84.7-86.1% range, comfortably ahead of Digicel and Movistar’s scores by approximately twenty percentage points. Claro and Tigo both scored 5.9 on a 10 point scale for 4G Coverage Experience, ahead of third-placed Movistar by 1.3 points.

Claro users had the most consistent experience

Claro is the outright winner of both the Excellent and Core Consistent Quality awards. It wins the former with a score of 69.2% and a lead of 6.2 percentage points over second placed Digicel. Claro comes top for Core Consistent Quality with a score of 83.2%, 5.1 percentage points ahead of Tigo. Consistent quality quantifies how often users’ experience on a network was sufficient to support common applications’ requirements. Excellent Consistent Quality focuses on thresholds for demanding applications while Core Consistent Quality targets a wider range of apps.

Digicel and Claro jointly win Games Experience

Our Claro and Digicel users had the best experience when playing multiplayer mobile games. This makes Claro and Digicel joint winners of the Games Experience award. The two operators have statistically tied scores of 51.9-54.3 points, which are over 10 percentage points higher than third placed Tigo. Games Experience analyzes how users’ multiplayer mobile gaming experience is affected by mobile network conditions including latency, packet loss and jitter.

Claro users had the best experience when streaming mobile video or using voice apps

Claro wins the Video Experience award outright with a score of 49.1 points on a 100 point scale. It was around eight points better than Digicel and Tigo’s scores, which statistically tied for second place. Claro is also the sole winner for Voice App Experience, which measures the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — mobile voice apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger.

Mobile Experience Awards

June 2022, El Salvador Report
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Market Overview

Looking at the award table, Claro is the leading operator in El Salvador in terms of the mobile network experience. Claro picks up seven outright wins out of 10 categories available, winning four overall experience awards as well as Availability and both Consistency awards. On the other hand, Tigo shares both the 4G Availability and 4G Coverage Experience awards with Claro, while Digicel is a joint winner of the Games Experience award alongside Claro.

In this first Opensignal report on El Salvador, we examine the mobile network experience of the four main mobile network operators: Claro, Digicel, Movistar and Tigo, over a period of 90 days starting on February 1, 2022 and ending on May 1, 2022, to see how they performed.

Overall Experience
Coverage
Consistency
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
49.1
Digicel
41.5
Movistar
25.9
Tigo
41.2
0 14 28 42 56
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
54.3
Digicel
51.9
Movistar
33.3
Tigo
40.2
0 15 30 45 60
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
77.9
Digicel
73.1
Movistar
62.9
Tigo
71.6
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Claro
24.5
Digicel
12.9
Movistar
7.5
Tigo
15.1
0 7.5 15 22.5 30
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Claro
9.5
Digicel
6.8
Movistar
4.3
Tigo
7.3
0 4 8 12 16
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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National Analysis

Claro wins the Video Experience award outright, with a score of 49.1 points on a 100 point scale. It beats Digicel and Tigo — which are statistically tied for second place — by around eight points, as their scores are in the 41.2-41.5 point range. However, these three operators have all placed in the Fair (40-55) category, while Movistar is the only operator to earn a Poor (under 40) rating.

A Fair rating means that our users did not have a good experience either with higher resolution videos (very slow loading times and prolonged stalling) or for some video streaming providers. The experience on lower resolution videos from some providers might have been sufficient though.

In contrast, placing in the Poor category means that users did not have a good experience even for lower resolution videos across all providers. Very slow loading times and frequent stalling were common.

Our Claro and Digicel users had the best experience when playing multiplayer mobile games over cellular connections, making the two operators joint winners of the Games Experience award. Their statistically tied scores of 51.9-54.3 points were around 13 points higher than third placed Tigo’s score of 40.2 points and approximately 20 points better than last placed Movistar’s score of 33.3 points.

Claro is the outright winner of the Voice App Experience award, which means that our Claro users had the best experience when using over-the-top voice apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger over cellular connections. The operator wins with a score of 77.9 points on a 100 point scale — comfortably ahead of Tigo and Digicel’s statistically tied scores of 71.6-73.1 points. Movistar is further behind with a score of 62.9 points.

In addition to winning the award, Claro is the only operator to have placed in the Acceptable (74-80) category — Digicel and Tigo placed in the Poor (66-74) category, while Movistar rated as Very Poor (60-66).

An Acceptable rating means that some users were satisfied. Perceptible call quality impairments were experienced by some users, but listeners were generally able to comprehend without repetition.

In contrast, placing in the Poor category indicates that many users were dissatisfied. Call quality impairments were experienced by many users. Distortion, clicking sounds or silence were experienced during the call. These were perceptible and may have been annoying.

Our Claro users saw the fastest average overall download speeds — the operator clocked up 24.5 Mbps, making it the outright winner of the Download Speed Experience award, given its lead of 9.4 Mbps over second placed Tigo’s score of 15.1 Mbps. Digicel and Movistar were further behind with scores of 12.9 and 7.5 Mbps, respectively.

Claro is the outright winner of the Upload Speed Experience awards as our users on its network clocked up average upload speeds of 9.5 Mbps — 2.2-2.7 Mbps faster than Digicel and Tigo’s scores of 6.8-7.3 Mbps. The latter two operators are statistically tied for second place, while Movistar is in last place with a score of 4.3 Mbps

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).

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Claro

Digicel

Movistar

Tigo

Availability
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Availability
% of time
Claro
98.5
Digicel
92.7
Movistar
94.1
Tigo
97.2
0 25 50 75 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Availability
% of time
Claro
86.1
Digicel
63.3
Movistar
66.2
Tigo
84.7
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Claro
5.9
Digicel
2.6
Movistar
4.5
Tigo
5.9
0 1.5 3 4.5 6
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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National Analysis

Our Claro users spent the greatest proportion of time with either a 3G or 4G signal (98.5%), making it the sole winner of the Availability award. Tigo placed second, with a score of 97.2%, giving Claro a modest lead of 1.3 percentage points. Meanwhile, Digicel and Movistar are statistically tied for third place with scores in the 92.7-94.1% range.

Claro and Tigo share the 4G Availability award as our users on their networks spent the most time connected to 4G on average. The winners’ statistically tied scores of 84.7-86.1% are far ahead of the runners-up, Digicel and Movistar, which share third place.

As is the case with 4G Availability, Claro and Tigo are joint winners of the 4G Coverage Experience award. The two operators win with identical scores of 5.9 points on a 10 point scale. Movistar is in third place with a score of 4.5 points — 1.3 points behind the two winners — while Digicel is further behind with 2.6 points.

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

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.

4G Availability shows the proportion of time Opensignal users with a 4G device and a 4G subscription — but have never connected to 5G — had a 4G 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.

The coverage maps show the locations where we received measurements from users connecting with 3G or better mobile service. Each map provides an indication of the areas in which it is possible to obtain mobile service from that mobile operator.

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Excellent Consistent Quality
Core Consistent Quality
Excellent Consistent Quality
% of tests
Claro
69.2
Digicel
63.0
Movistar
47.1
Tigo
58.5
0 17.5 35 52.5 70
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Core Consistent Quality
% of tests
Claro
83.2
Digicel
77.3
Movistar
72.7
Tigo
78.0
0 21.5 43 64.5 86
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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National Analysis

The highest percentage of users’ tests that met the minimum recommended performance thresholds to watch HD video, complete group video conference calls and play games, was seen on Claro’s network. As a result, Claro wins the Excellent Consistent Quality award with a score of 69.2%. Claro wins with a lead of 6.2 percentage points over second placed Digicel’s score of 63%. Tigo and Movistar bring up the rear with scores of 58.5% and 47.1%, respectively.

In addition to winning Excellent Consistent Quality, Claro picks up the Core Consistent Quality award with a score of 83.2%. This means that 83.2% of users’ tests on its network met the minimum recommended performance thresholds for lower performance applications including SD video, voice calls and web browsing. Claro’s lead is slightly smaller than that seen for Excellent Consistent Quality — 5.1 percentage points. Tigo is in second place with 78%, Digicel is in third with 77.3%, followed by Movistar with 72.7 points.

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.

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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.

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