Bulgaria

Mobile Network Experience Report
January 2023

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: Sep 01 - Nov 29, 2022

Bulgaria

Mobile Network Experience Report
January 2023

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: Sep 01 - Nov 29, 2022

Key Findings

Our A1 users enjoyed the fastest average download speeds in Bulgaria

A1 comes top for both overall and 5G download speed. Our users on A1's network saw impressive average overall download speeds of 81.7 Mbps — well above second-placed Vivacom and Yettel, which statistically tied with scores of 47.8-51.2 Mbps. Since the previous report our A1 users saw an increase of 22.5 Mbps (38.1%) in overall download speeds, while Vivacom users saw speeds decrease by 10.2 Mbps (17.6%) and Yettel users did not experience a significant change. A1 also took home the 5G Download Speed award, scoring a lightning fast 478.5 Mbps — over 2.4 times as fast as Vivacom and Yettel’s statistically tied scores. Vivacom saw a large 57% drop in its score between reports, while A1's 36.4% increase catapulted it into first place.

Vivacom once again wins 5G Availability outright

Vivacom retains its outright win in 5G Availability, scoring 34.2% — A1 and Yettel have a fair bit of ground to cover, tying for second place with statistically level scores of 17-18.4%. The Availability award is once again a dead heat, with all three operators achieving statistically level scores of 97.5-97.8% — no operators’ scores were significantly changed from the previous report. Availability shows the proportion of time Opensignal users spent on 3G, 4G, 5G on an operator's network, while 5G Availability measures the proportion of time that our users with a 5G device and plan spent with an active 5G connection.

A1 leads the upload speed awards

To complement its wins for download speed, A1 also takes home both upload speed awards. Our A1 users saw average upload speeds of 15.3 Mbps — around 2.8 Mbps ahead of second-placed Vivacom and Yettel, which tied with scores of 12.4-12.5 Mbps. Since the last report our A1 users saw an increase of 1.9 Mbps (14.5%) in overall upload speeds, while Vivacom and Yettel users did not experience a significant change. A1 carried this performance over to the 5G Upload Speed award, winning it outright with a score of 46.6 Mbps. Vivacom and Yettel — which yet again tied for second place — have a lot of ground to cover, settling around 18.5 Mbps (39.7%) behind A1.

Yettel joins A1 on the winners' podium for both consistency awards

Yettel manages to catch up to A1 for both awards — the pair scoring 92.7-93% and 84.6-85.1% for Core Consistent Quality and Excellent Consistent Quality, respectively. Yettel was the only operator to experience a significant change for Core Consistent Quality since the last report — an increase of 2.3 percentage points. Its users also saw a 1.4 percentage point increase in Excellent Consistent Quality, while A1 users only saw a 0.9 percentage point increase, and Vivacom users did not see a significant change in measured experience.

Bulgaria's users have an Excellent 5G Video Experience on all three operators

A1 wins the 5G Video Experience award outright, having wrestled it away from the previous winner Yettel. The operator scored 83.5 points on a 100 point scale — around 4.9 points above the statistically tied Vivacom and Yettel. However, all operators scored in the Excellent (75 or above) category — this means that users had a consistent video streaming experience, with fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling.

Mobile Experience Awards

January 2023, Bulgaria Report
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Market Overview

Opensignal's last report on Bulgaria's Mobile Network Experience presented 5G awards for the first time. Since this report there has been quite a shake up in these metrics — A1, which did not win a single 5G award previously, wins 5G Video Experience, 5G Download Speed and 5G Upload Speed. This is on top of winning both overall speed awards, and sharing the winners' podium for all other experiential awards. The operator's impressive haul is five outright wins and eight joint wins, only missing out on the award in the 5G Availability category.

Yettel takes home the next highest award total, scoring seven shared first place finishes after catching up with A1 on consistency. Vivacom is just behind Yettel, with six total awards — keeping its outright victory in 5G Availability and managing five joint wins.

In October 2022 A1 said that it had completed the integration of its 5G standalone access (SA) network. The network consists of a Nokia supplied Radio Access Network (RAN) and Ericsson's backbone 5G network. SA networks have characteristics that bring benefits to both enterprise and consumers, such as low latency, higher speeds and improved reliability.

In this report, we've analyzed the mobile experience of our Bulgarian users across all three national operators — A1, Vivacom and Yettel (formerly Telenor) — over the 90 day period starting on September 1, 2022, and ending on November 29, 2022. Our overall experience results include measurements from 5G devices.

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
A1
67.2
Vivacom
59.4
Yettel
64.6
0 17.5 35 52.5 70
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Video Experience – 5G Users
in 0-100 points
A1
70.4
Vivacom
66.3
Yettel
67.0
0 19 38 57 76
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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All Users
5G Users
Games Experience
in 0-100 points
A1
68.4
Vivacom
69.5
Yettel
68.2
0 19 38 57 76
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Games Experience – 5G Users
in 0-100 points
A1
65.8
Vivacom
66.8
Yettel
67.9
0 19 38 57 76
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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All Users
5G Users
Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
A1
77.9
Vivacom
79.2
Yettel
77.9
0 20 40 60 80
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Voice App Experience – 5G Users
in 0-100 points
A1
76.5
Vivacom
78.3
Yettel
79.2
0 21.5 43 64.5 86
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
All Users
5G Users
Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
A1
81.7
Vivacom
47.8
Yettel
51.2
0 21.5 43 64.5 86
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience – 5G Users
in Mbps
A1
148.8
Vivacom
99.8
Yettel
78.1
0 40 80 120 160
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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All Users
5G Users
Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
A1
15.3
Vivacom
12.4
Yettel
12.5
0 5 10 15 20
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Upload Speed Experience – 5G Users
in Mbps
A1
19.0
Vivacom
16.4
Yettel
14.0
0 6.5 13 19.5 26
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
A1
83.5
Vivacom
78.2
Yettel
78.9
0 21.5 43 64.5 86
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
5G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
A1
73.7
Vivacom
77.3
Yettel
70.9
0 21.5 43 64.5 86
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
5G Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
A1
81.2
Vivacom
82.4
Yettel
79.0
0 21.5 43 64.5 86
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
5G Download Speed
in Mbps
A1
478.5
Vivacom
190.8
Yettel
206.8
0 125 250 375 500
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
5G Upload Speed
in Mbps
A1
46.6
Vivacom
27.1
Yettel
29.1
0 14 28 42 56
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.

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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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Yettel

Vivacom

A1

Availability
5G Availability
Availability
% of time
A1
97.5
Vivacom
97.8
Yettel
97.8
0 25 50 75 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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5G Availability
% of time
A1
17.0
Vivacom
34.2
Yettel
18.4
0 10 20 30 40
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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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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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.

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
A1
85.1
Vivacom
81.1
Yettel
84.6
0 22.5 45 67.5 90
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Core Consistent Quality
% of tests
A1
93.0
Vivacom
90.8
Yettel
92.7
0 24 48 72 96
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image

Definitions

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

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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