Iraq

Mobile Network Experience Report
July 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: Mar 01 - May 29, 2022

Iraq

Mobile Network Experience Report
July 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: Mar 01 - May 29, 2022

Key Findings

Our Asiacell users saw the fastest average speeds in Iraq

Asiacell is the outright winner of both the Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience awards. It wins the former with a score of 26.9 Mbps, 11.4 Mbps (74%) faster than second-placed Zain’s score of 15.5 Mbps. Korek is in third place with 9.8 Mbps. The average overall upload speeds seen by our Asiacell users were just above 11 Mbps — more than double Zain’s 4.3 Mbps and 3.7 times faster than Korek’s 3.1 Mbps.

Zain comes top for Consistency

Looking at the percentage of users’ tests that met the thresholds for both demanding applications such as watching HD video and lower performance applications like web browsing, Zain had the highest scores, making it the outright winner of both the Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality awards. It wins the former by a margin of 4.5 percentage points, as second-placed Korek scored 42.5%. Zain wins Core Consistent Quality with a score of 78.5%, 2.2 percentage points ahead of Korek and 5.4 percentage points in front of Asiacell.

Asiacell achieves a clean sweep in Coverage

Asiacell is the sole winner of all three Coverage awards — Availability, 4G Availability and 4G Coverage Experience. The operator’s winning margin is particularly large for 4G Availability, which it wins with a score of 86.1% and a lead of 12.6 percentage points over second placed Zain. These wins mean that our Asiacell users spent the most time connected to either 3G or 4G (Availability), the most time connected to 4G (4G Availability) and found a 4G signal on average in the most locations visited by our Iraqi users (4G Coverage Experience).

Zain and Asiacell share the Games Experience award

Our Asiacell and Zain users had the best available experience when playing multiplayer mobile games over cellular connections in Iraq. The two operators had statistically tied scores of 41.7-44.2 points on a 100 point scale. Korek is slightly behind the two frontrunners with a score of 39.5 points.

Our Asiacell users had the best Video Experience and Voice App Experience

When it comes to streaming video and using over the top voice applications on smartphones over cellular connections, our Asiacell users had the best available experience in Iraq. As a result, Asiacell is the outright winner of both the Video Experience and Voice App Experience awards. It wins Video Experience with a score of 48.3 points, 13 points ahead of Zain and 18.4 points ahead of Korek. Asiacell wins Voice App Experience with a score of 75.4 points, making it the only Iraqi national operator to place in the Acceptable (74-80) category.

Mobile Experience Awards

July 2022, Iraq Report
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Market Overview

In this new report on the mobile network experience of our Iraqi users, Asiacell wins the lion’s share of awards, winning both speed awards (Download Speed Experience, Upload Speed Experience), all three of our experiential awards — but sharing Games Experience with Zain — and all of our Coverage awards (Availability, 4G Availability and 4G Coverage Experience. On the other hand, Zain picked up both Consistency awards — Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality. Zain also places second in almost all of the award categories that Asiacell wins outright, with the only exception being Availability where it had to settle for third place behind Korek. Korek does not claim any awards this time — either solely or jointly — but placed second in Availability and both Consistency categories.

In this report, we've analyzed our data gathered in the 90 day period beginning on March 1 and ending on May 29, 2022, to see how Iraq’s three national operators — Asiacell, Korek and Zain — measure up.

Overall Experience
Coverage
Consistency
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Overall
4G
3G
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Asiacell
48.3
Korek
30.0
Zain
35.3
0 12.5 25 37.5 50
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Asiacell
56.7
Korek
50.9
Zain
56.4
0 15 30 45 60
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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3G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Asiacell
29.7
Korek
21.5
Zain
24.7
0 9 18 27 36
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Overall
4G
3G
Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Asiacell
44.2
Korek
39.5
Zain
41.7
0 12.5 25 37.5 50
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Asiacell
48.0
Korek
51.5
Zain
51.6
0 15 30 45 60
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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3G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Asiacell
35.6
Korek
34.5
Zain
37.8
0 11.5 23 34.5 46
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Overall
4G
3G
Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Asiacell
75.4
Korek
68.8
Zain
72.3
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Asiacell
78.2
Korek
78.2
Zain
78.1
0 21.5 43 64.5 86
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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3G Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Asiacell
70.5
Korek
66.3
Zain
73.2
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Overall
4G
3G
Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Asiacell
26.9
Korek
9.8
Zain
15.5
0 7.5 15 22.5 30
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Download Speed
in Mbps
Asiacell
35.2
Korek
20.2
Zain
32.7
0 10 20 30 40
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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3G Download Speed
in Mbps
Asiacell
7.1
Korek
5.1
Zain
5.2
0 2 4 6 8
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Overall
4G
3G
Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Asiacell
11.2
Korek
3.1
Zain
4.3
0 4 8 12 16
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Upload Speed
in Mbps
Asiacell
15.1
Korek
7.2
Zain
9.2
0 5 10 15 20
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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3G Upload Speed
in Mbps
Asiacell
1.8
Korek
1.1
Zain
1.4
0 1 2 3 4
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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National Analysis

Asiacell is the outright winner of the Video Experience award — which means that our Asiacell users had the best available experience in Iraq when streaming video on their smartphones over cellular connections. The winner’s score of 48.3 points was 13 points ahead of second-placed Zain’s 35.3 points and 18.4 points higher than Korek’s score of 30 points. When we look at the experience of our users when connected to 3G or 4G, there was no statistically significant difference in either the 3G or 4G Video Experience of Asiacell and Zain users. This highlights the importance of 4G Availability — the proportion of time that users were connected to 4G. As our Asiacell users spent more time connected to 4G, the uplift in their experience on 4G versus 3G had the most impact on their overall experience.

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.

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National Analysis

Asiacell and Zain are joint winners of the Games Experience award, due to a statistical tie. This means that our Asiacell and Zain users had the best available experience when playing multiplayer mobile games over cellular connections in Iraq. The two operators had scores of 41.7-44.2 points on a 100 point scale. Korek was slightly behind the two front runners with a score of 39.5 points. While Korek’s confidence intervals overlap with Zain’s, Korek has narrowly missed becoming a joint winner as its confidence intervals do not overlap with Asiacell’s.

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.

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National Analysis

Our Asiacell users had the best overall experience when using over the top voice apps on their smartphones over cellular connections. Asiacell’s score of 75.4 points makes it the only Iraqi national operator that has placed in the Acceptable (74-80) category. Both Korek and Zain placed in the Poor (66-74) category instead, with scores of 68.8 and 72.3 points, respectively. Asiacell wins with a lead of 3.1 points over second placed Zain.

Like Video Experience, Asiacell’s victory was aided by its high 4G Availability score — all three operators are statistically tied for 4G Voice App Experience, while Asiacell and Zain share top place for 3G Voice App Experience.

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.

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National Analysis

Asiacell is the outright winner of the Download Speed Experience award, due to its score of 26.9 Mbps, which is 11.4 Mbps (74%) faster than second-placed Zain’s score of 15.5 Mbps. Korek is in third place with 9.8 Mbps. This result means that our Asiacell users on average observed the fastest overall download speeds across all generations of mobile technology used in Iraq.

Asiacell also dominates on 3G and 4G Download Speed. Looking at the latter, it comes top with a score of 35.2 Mbps, 2.5 Mbps (7.7%) faster than Zain’s score of 32.7 Mbps. Similarly, Asiacell’s 3G Download Speed score of 7.1 Mbps was around 2 Mbps faster than those of its rivals.

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).

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National Analysis

Our Asiacell users had the fastest average overall upload speeds in Iraq, with the operator clocking up a score of 11.2 Mbps, 2.6 and 3.7 times faster than Zain and Korek’s scores, respectively. Upload speeds are becoming increasingly important as social media encourages users to upload content, rather than just consuming it.

When we look at the speeds of our Iraqi users when they connected to 4G, Asiacell hit the 15 Mbps mark with a score of 15.1 Mbps. The operator commanded a 5.9 Mbps lead over Zain and Asiacell’s score is more than double Korek’s 7.2 Mbps. However, Asiacell and Zain share first place for 3G Upload Speed.

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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Asiacell

Korek

Zain

Availability
4G Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Availability
% of time
Asiacell
98.2
Korek
94.1
Zain
90.3
0 25 50 75 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Availability
% of time
Asiacell
86.1
Korek
59.0
Zain
73.5
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
Asiacell
3.6
Korek
2.4
Zain
3.3
0 1 2 3 4
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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National Analysis

Asiacell is the outright winner of the Availability award with an impressive score of 98.2% — just 1.8 percentage points short of a perfect score. Availability indicates the proportion of time on average that our users were connected to either 3G or 4G. Korek is in second place with a score of 94.1%, 4.2 percentage points behind the winner. Zain is further behind with a score of 90.3%. The higher an operator’s Availability score, the less time on average our users on its network spent either without a signal or on 2G.

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.

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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National Analysis

Our Asiacell users spent the greatest proportion of their time connected to 4G — 86.1%. Asiacell is therefore the sole winner of the 4G Availability award, with a lead of 12.6 percentage points over second placed Zain’s score of 73.5%. Korek brings up the rear with a score of 59%.

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.

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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National Analysis

Asiacell completes its clean sweep of Coverage awards by winning the 4G Coverage Experience award outright with a score of 3.6 on a 10 point scale. This means that our Asiacell users were able to find a 4G signal on average in 3.6 out of 10 locations visited by our users, regardless of their choice of national operator. Zain was close behind with a score of 3.3 points while Korek is in third place with a score of 2.4 points.

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
Asiacell
34.8
Korek
42.5
Zain
47.0
0 12.5 25 37.5 50
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Core Consistent Quality
% of tests
Asiacell
73.0
Korek
76.3
Zain
78.5
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image

National Analysis

Zain is the sole winner of the Excellent Consistent Quality award. It wins with a score of 47% and a lead of 4.5 percentage points over second placed Korek’s 42.5%. Asiacell is in third place with 34.8%.

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.

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National Analysis

Zain also wins the second Consistency award — Core Consistent Quality — doing so with a score of 78.5%. Korek is in second place with 76.3%, 2.2 percentage points behind the winner, while Asiacell brings up the rear with 73%.

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.

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