Sri Lanka

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: Robert Wyrzykowski, Senior Analyst Data Collection Period: Apr 01 - Jun 29, 2022

Sri Lanka

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: Robert Wyrzykowski, Senior Analyst

Data Collection Period: Apr 01 - Jun 29, 2022

Key Findings

Mobitel wins Download Speed Experience outright

Our users in Sri Lanka enjoyed the fastest average download speed on Mobitel’s network, of 9.6 Mbps — 1.1 Mbps (12.9%) faster than second-placed Dialog. This was the only outright victory that Mobitel secured in the awards table this time around. Both Mobitel and Dialog saw their average 4G Download Speed scores exceed 10 Mbps.

All three experiential awards go to Dialog

Dialog outright wins all three experiential awards — Video Experience, Games Experience and Voice App Experience — with scores of 35.3, 49.9 and 73.8 points (on a 100-point scale), respectively. The operator commanded an impressive lead of 12 points over second-placed Airtel in Games Experience — and a smaller lead of 7.4 points over the runner-up Mobitel in Video Experience.

Airtel triumphs in Availability, but Dialog takes home 4G Coverage Experience

Our users on Airtel’s network connected to either a 3G or better signal 92.4% of the time — and so, Airtel wins the Availability award outright. However, the extent of Airtel’s 4G network is limited, as the operator scored only 3.8 points on a 10-point scale for the 4G Coverage Experience. Dialog claims this award, with a score of 8.9 points — more than twice Airtel’s score.

Our users saw the fastest average upload speeds on Dialog’s network

While Mobitel wins Download Speed Experience, Dialog claims the other speed award available for grabs — Upload Speed Experience, with a score of 4.8 Mbps. Mobitel takes second place, 1.1 Mbps behind the winner.

Dialog comes top for Consistency

Dialog wins both Consistency awards outright, ahead of second-placed Airtel, as it scored 49.1% for Excellent Consistent Quality and 76.6% for Core Consistent Quality. Excellent Consistent Quality measures how operators’ networks meet the minimum recommended performance thresholds to watch HD video, complete group video conference calls and play games, Meanwhile Core Consistent Quality measures the percentage of users’ tests that met the minimum recommended performance thresholds for lower performance applications including SD video, voice calls and web browsing.

Mobile Experience Awards

July 2022, Sri Lanka Report
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Market Overview

In Opensignal's latest Mobile Network Experience report on Sri Lanka we analyze the overall experience of our users — and for the first time, we include two awards that quantify the consistency of the experience on the country’s four national operators.

Dialog is the big winner in the awards table — it wins seven awards outright out of nine available, including all three experiential awards (Video Experience, Games Experience and Voice App Experience) and both Consistency awards — Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality. Airtel and Mobitel each claim one outright win outright — Availability and Download Speed Experience respectively — while Hutch is not successful this time around.

Sri Lanka’s TRCSL has not yet held a 5G spectrum auction and its mobile operators are yet to launch commercial 5G services. However, Mobitel has expanded its pre-commercial 5G infrastructure to Colombo, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Galle and Jaffna. However, it won’t start deploying 5G infrastructure commercially until the issuance of spectrum licenses. Mobitel plans to invest $100 million in its 5G networks and estimates $15 million on 5G spectrum licenses. Meanwhile, Dialogclaims to be the first operator in South Asia to trial a 5G Standalone network. However, Sri Lanka’s major economic crisis, uncertain political situation and an increase in theTelecommunications Levy from 11.25% to 15% for operators are likely to hamper future 5G rollouts in Sri Lanka.

Airtel launched its 4G network only in July 2021 — but it is already shutting down its 3G network. In April 2022, the TRCSL approved Airtel’s request to terminate its 3G mobile network, to re-farm the existing spectrum bandwidth to 4G services. The regulator gave Airtel 15 months in April 2022 to migrate at least 90% of its 3G subscriber base to 4G, by providing affordable 4G handsets and data plans.

In this report, we have analyzed the mobile network experience for Sri Lanka's four operators — Airtel, Dialog, Hutch and Mobitel — over the 90 days starting on April 1, 2022 and ending on June 29, 2022.

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
Airtel
24.7
Dialog
35.3
Hutch
21.4
Mobitel
27.9
0 10 20 30 40
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Airtel
27.3
Dialog
39.7
Hutch
25.6
Mobitel
30.8
0 11.5 23 34.5 46
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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3G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Airtel
19.8
Dialog
22.4
Hutch
15.7
Mobitel
21.8
0 6.5 13 19.5 26
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Overall
4G
3G
Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Airtel
37.9
Dialog
49.9
Hutch
35.1
Mobitel
36.4
0 14 28 42 56
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Airtel
40.3
Dialog
55.7
Hutch
37.8
Mobitel
38.6
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
Airtel
34.8
Dialog
35.0
Hutch
32.9
Mobitel
34.6
0 10 20 30 40
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
Airtel
69.4
Dialog
73.8
Hutch
64.7
Mobitel
68.8
0 19 38 57 76
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Airtel
72.8
Dialog
77.9
Hutch
69.1
Mobitel
72.1
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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3G Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Airtel
66.9
Dialog
68.7
Hutch
61.4
Mobitel
67.5
0 17.5 35 52.5 70
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Overall
4G
3G
Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Airtel
6.5
Dialog
8.5
Hutch
4.6
Mobitel
9.6
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Download Speed
in Mbps
Airtel
7.3
Dialog
10.1
Hutch
5.7
Mobitel
10.8
0 4 8 12 16
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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3G Download Speed
in Mbps
Airtel
5.1
Dialog
4.4
Hutch
3.2
Mobitel
5.5
0 1.5 3 4.5 6
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Overall
4G
3G
Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Airtel
1.7
Dialog
4.8
Hutch
2.3
Mobitel
3.7
0 1.5 3 4.5 6
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Upload Speed
in Mbps
Airtel
1.9
Dialog
5.8
Hutch
3.2
Mobitel
4.5
0 1.5 3 4.5 6
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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3G Upload Speed
in Mbps
Airtel
0.9
Dialog
2.3
Hutch
0.9
Mobitel
1.7
0 1 2 3 4
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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National Analysis

Dialog is the sole winner of the Video Experience award, with a score of 35.3 on a 100-point scale. Mobiltel placed second, 7.4 points behind the winner. Airtel and Hutch scored 24.7 and 21.4 points, respectively.

Looking at 4G Video Experience, our Dialog users saw the highest score, of 39.7 points — 8.9 points ahead of Mobitel.

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

Dialog wins the Games Experience award, with a score of 49.9 points. It does so with the highest winning margin across all experiential awards (Video Experience, Games Experience and Voice App Experience) — of 12 points over the runner-up Airtel. This lead is even more impressive, considering only 2.8 points separated second-placed Airtel and fourth-placed Hutch.

We observed slightly higher scores for the mobile multiplayer gaming experience when our users in Sri Lanka connected to 4G services. Dialog’s result of 55.7 points was the highest among all national operators in this category — 15.4 points ahead of Airtel.

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

The Voice App Experience award goes to Dialog, which wins it with a score of 73.8 points. Both Airtel and Mobitel are in a statistical tie for second place, with scores in the 68.8-69.4 point range. — while Hutch trails behind, with a score of 64.7 points.

Our users have enjoyed the highest-rated 4G Voice App Experience on Dialog’s network — the operator scored 77.9 points on a 100-point scale. Dialog was the only Sri Lankan operator to place in the Acceptable (74-80) category this time around. This means that some users were satisfied, but some experienced perceptible call quality impairments.

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

Mobitel wins its only award outright in Download Speed Experience, as our users in Sri Lanka enjoyed the fastest average download speed on Mobitel’s network, of 9.6 Mbps. This was 1.1 Mbps (12.9%) faster than what our users on second-placed Dialog experienced. Airtel takes third place, with a score of 6.5 Mbps, while our users on Hutch’s network experienced average download speeds less than a half than those on Mobitel’s network.

Both Mobitel and Dialog saw their average 4G Download Speed exceed 10 Mbps, with Mobitel seeing the highest average 4G download speed of 10.8 Mbps.

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

Dialog takes the top spot for Upload Speed Experience, with a score of 4.8 Mbps — 1.1 Mbps (28.8%) faster than of the runner-up Mobitel. Average upload speeds on Dialog’s network were more than twice as fast than those on third-place Hutch’s network (2.3 Mbps) and nearly three times as fast as those on Airtel’s network (1.7 Mbps).

In terms of 4G Upload Speed Experience, Dialog’s average 4G upload speed clocked in at 5.8 Mbps, which was the highest score in Sri Lanka. Mobitel placed second, with a score of 4.5 Mbps.

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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Airtel

Dialog

Hutch

Mobitel

Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Availability
% of time
Airtel
92.4
Dialog
90.3
Hutch
89.8
Mobitel
89.3
0 24 48 72 96
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Airtel
3.8
Dialog
8.9
Hutch
4.7
Mobitel
7.9
0 2.5 5 7.5 10
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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National Analysis

Airtel is the sole winner of the Availability award, as our users on this network connected to either a 3G or better signal 92.4% of the time. Dialog, Hutch and Mobitel are in a three-way statistical tie for second place, with scores in the 89.3-90.3% range.

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

Dialog claims this award, with a score of 8.9 points on a 10-point scale — one point ahead of second-placed Mobitel. Dialog’s result means our users on this network connected to 4G locations in nearly nine out of 10 locations visited by users of all network operators.. While Airtel wins the Availability award, the extent of its 4G network is limited, as the operator scored only 3.8 points in 4G Coverage Experience — 0.9 points behind third-placed Hutch.

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
Airtel
34.4
Dialog
49.1
Hutch
29.8
Mobitel
30.7
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
Airtel
70.0
Dialog
76.6
Hutch
63.1
Mobitel
53.1
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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National Analysis

Dialog was the network that met the minimum recommended performance thresholds for HD video, group video conference calls and gaming in 49.1% of users’ tests — and so, it wins Excellent Consistent Quality. The operator commanded an impressive lead of 14.7 percentage points over second-placed Airtel. Hutch and Mobitel tied for third place, with scores in the 29.8-30.7% range.

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

Dialog is the sole winner of the Core Consistent Quality award, claiming it with a score of 76.6%. This 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. Dialog wins with a winning margin of 6.6 percentage points over the runner-up Airtel, while Hutch finishes third, with a score of 63.1%.

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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