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Bahrain

Mobile Network Experience Report
November 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: Rupert Bapty, Analyst Data Collection Period: Aug 01 - Oct 29, 2022

Bahrain

Mobile Network Experience Report
November 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: Rupert Bapty, Analyst

Data Collection Period: Aug 01 - Oct 29, 2022

Key Findings

Stc jointly wins all speed awards

The competition is notable when it comes to the awards for download and upload speed; no award has an outright winner. All three operators share at least one first place finish, with stc coming joint top for all four awards — including the two new 5G speed awards. For the Download Speed Experience award, stc catches up with Batelco — both statistically tie, with scores of 38.6-40.9 Mbps. Stc and Zain share the Upload Speed Experience award with scores of 9.8-10 Mbps. Batelco and stc statistically tie for the 5G Download Speed award — our users on their 5G networks enjoyed average 5G download speeds of 260.6-262.6 Mbps. Finally, all three operators share the 5G Upload Speed award, with the trio scoring 18-21.2 Mbps.

Batelco and stc come top for the coverage awards

There has been no change from the previous report in the standings for the Availability award, with Batelco and stc once again sharing the winners' podium. Our users on both networks had a 3G or better connection over 98% of the time — ranging from 98.4 to 98.6% on the two networks. Batelco and stc also statistically tie for the new 5G Availability award — scoring 34.3-38.1%. Zain trails the leaders by a fair margin — around 12.6 percentage points.

Batelco either wins or jointly wins across the 5G and overall experiential awards

The experiential awards are tightly contested, with three of the six being three-way ties. Batelco, stc and Zain share the Video Experience award, with statistically tied scores of 49-52.1 points out of 100 — all operators earning a Fair (40-55) rating. The three also share the 5G Video Experience award with scores of 71.7-75.3 points putting them on the border between the Very Good (65-75) and Excellent (75 or above) categories. All Bahrain's operators share the winners' podium for Voice App Experience, while Batelco enjoys sole wins for Games Experience, 5G Games Experience and 5G Voice App Experience.

Batelco users enjoyed the best multiplayer mobile gaming experience

Batelco wins both Games Experience awards outright. For overall Games Experience the operator scored 71.6 points on a 100 point scale — 4.4 points ahead of second-placed stc. For 5G Games Experience, Batelco scored 81.5 points, while stc and Zain statistically tie for second place with scores of 69.8-72.1 points. Batelco saw an uplift of 10 points from overall to 5G, earning a Good (75-85) rating for 5G Games Experience. This means that most users deemed their experience on 5G connections acceptable and did not experience a delay between their actions and the game.

Stc remains first for Core Consistent Quality, while Batelco and Zain share Excellent Consistent Quality

Stc defends its outright win for Core Consistent Quality with a score of 86.7% — 3.6 percentage points higher than second-placed Batelco. Stc’s lead has increased since the previous report when it led Zain by a margin of 1.8 percentage points. For Excellent Consistent Quality, Batelco joins Zain on the winners' podium — the two operators are statistically tied with scores ranging from 68.8-68.9%. Stc brings up the rear with a score of 60.6% — about 8.3 percentage points behind its rivals.

Mobile Experience Awards

November 2022, Bahrain Report
Download Image

Market Overview

Like Opensignal's first analysis of Bahrain's Mobile Network Experience, the awards table is fiercely contested. Out of 14 awards, Batelco shares nine and claims three outright — Games Experience, 5G Games Experience and 5G Voice App Experience. Stc is the next highest awarded operator, also scooping up nine joint wins and one uncontested first place — Core Consistent Quality. Zain did not manage any outright wins this time around, but does share six first place awards. For the first time we have recognized Bahrain’s operators for the experience of our users when they were connected to 5G — the 5G experience awards.

In this report we examine the mobile network experience of the three mobile network operators in Bahrain — Batelco, stc and Zain — over a period of 90 days starting on August 1, 2022 and ending on October 29, 2022, to see how they fared. We have used 5G measurements in addition to those from previous generations of mobile network technology when determining the scores for each overall award.

Overall Experience
5G Experience
Coverage
Consistency
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
All Users
5G Users
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Batelco
49.6
stc
52.1
Zain
49.0
014284256
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Video Experience – 5G Users
in 0-100 points
Batelco
65.2
stc
60.2
Zain
64.3
017.53552.570
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
All Users
5G Users
Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Batelco
71.6
stc
67.2
Zain
63.3
019385776
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Games Experience – 5G Users
in 0-100 points
Batelco
74.7
stc
68.7
Zain
65.6
020406080
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
All Users
5G Users
Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Batelco
79.4
stc
79.1
Zain
78.3
020406080
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Voice App Experience – 5G Users
in 0-100 points
Batelco
80.0
stc
78.8
Zain
78.2
021.54364.586
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
All Users
5G Users
Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Batelco
38.6
stc
40.9
Zain
28.7
011.52334.546
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience – 5G Users
in Mbps
Batelco
119.4
stc
127.4
Zain
68.4
03570105140
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
All Users
5G Users
Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Batelco
7.9
stc
10.0
Zain
9.8
0481216
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users
in Mbps
Batelco
13.2
stc
13.6
Zain
11.7
0481216
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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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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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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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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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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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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5G Video Experience
5G Games Experience
5G Voice App Experience
5G Download Speed
5G Upload Speed
5G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Batelco
75.3
stc
72.3
Zain
71.7
020406080
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
5G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Batelco
81.5
stc
72.1
Zain
69.8
021.54364.586
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
5G Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Batelco
82.1
stc
79.2
Zain
78.8
021.54364.586
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
5G Download Speed
in Mbps
Batelco
260.6
stc
262.6
Zain
171.8
071.5143214.5286
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
5G Upload Speed
in Mbps
Batelco
18.0
stc
21.2
Zain
20.7
06.51319.526
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image

Definitions

5G Video Experience quantifies the quality of mobile video experienced by Opensignal users on real-world video streams when they were connected to 5G. 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 5G Video Experience, we are directly measuring video streams from end-user devices and using this ITU approach to quantify the video experience observed by our users on each operator’s 5G network 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.

Learn more

Definitions

5G Games Experience measures how mobile users experience real-time multiplayer mobile gaming on an operator's 5G network. It analyzes how our users’ multiplayer mobile gaming experience was affected by mobile network conditions including latency, packet loss and jitter. 5G Games Experience for each operator is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100.

5G 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 5G Games Experience starts with measuring the end-to-end experience from users’ devices to internet end-points that host real games.

Learn more

Definitions

5G Voice App Experience quantifies the experience of Opensignal users when using over-the-top voice apps — such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger — on an operator’s 5G network. It uses 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. 5G Voice App Experience for each operator is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100.

Learn more

Definitions

5G Download Speed shows the average download speed experienced by Opensignal users across an operator’s 5G network. 5G Download Speed for each operator is calculated in Mbps (Megabits per second).

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Definitions

5G Upload Speed measures the average upload speeds experienced by Opensignal users across an operator’s 5G network. 5G Upload Speed for each operator is calculated in Mbps (Megabits per second).

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Batelco

stc

Zain

Availability
5G Availability
Availability
% of time
Batelco
98.4
stc
98.6
Zain
95.2
0255075100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
5G Availability
% of time
Batelco
34.3
stc
38.1
Zain
23.6
011.52334.546
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.

Map Definition

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.

Learn more

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.

5G Availability shows the proportion of time Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription had an active 5G connection.

Map Definition

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.

Learn more

Excellent Consistent Quality
Core Consistent Quality
Excellent Consistent Quality
% of tests
Batelco
68.8
stc
60.6
Zain
68.9
017.53552.570
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Core Consistent Quality
% of tests
Batelco
83.1
stc
86.7
Zain
80.5
022.54567.590
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.

Full details on how the Consistent Quality metrics — Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality — are calculated 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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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.

Full details on how the Consistent Quality metrics — Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality — are calculated 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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