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Nicaragua

Mobile Network Experience Report
April 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: Ian Fogg, VP Analysis Data Collection Period: Jan 01 - Mar 31, 2023

Nicaragua

Mobile Network Experience Report
April 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: Ian Fogg, VP Analysis

Data Collection Period: Jan 01 - Mar 31, 2023

Key Findings

Claro users have the fastest experience

As Claro wins the awards for both Download and Upload Speed Experience, its users have indisputably the fastest experience in Nicaragua. Claro users see average download speeds of 15.3Mbps ahead of Tigo users' 11.4Mbps. The difference is narrower for Upload Speed Experience where Claro scores 8.7Mbps and Tigo 6.2Mbps.

For video streaming, multiplayer gaming and voice apps Claro wins all three awards

While Claro wins all three experiential awards, its winning scores indicate there's room for improvement. On Video Experience Claro scores 52.4, well ahead of Tigo's score of 36.6, but Claro's experience rates as Fair (48-58) while Tigo's is Poor (under 48). For Games Experience, both operators rate as Poor (40-65), while for Voice App Experience Claro's experience is Acceptable (74-80).

Tigo wins 4G Coverage Experience

On a 10-point scale, Tigo scored five points narrowly ahead of Claro's score of 4.9. Users on both operators spend the vast majority of time connected to a mobile broadband service. However, Claro wins the Availability award because its users spend more time connected to a 3G or better mobile service. Claro scores 97.2% for Availability, slightly ahead of Tigo's score of 94.4%.

Claro has the most consistent quality experience

By winning both the Excellent and Core Consistent Quality awards, Claro users have the most consistent mobile network experience. The two awards reflect the proportion of tests that meet the minimum performance thresholds for core or more demanding applications and services, respectively. On Core Consistent Quality, Claro scores 78.8% ahead of Tigo's 67.8%.

Mobile Experience Awards

April 2023, Nicaragua Report
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Market Overview

In Opensignal's first mobile network experience report on Nicaragua, Claro takes the greatest share of Opensignal awards by winning eight categories outright. However, all is not lost for Tigo because it wins one award outright. Also, in many of categories where Claro wins the scores are close between the two operators which indicates Tigo could take more awards next time if it is able to improve its users' experience.

New market developments such as the deployment of new technologies offer opportunities to raise the experience of all Nicaraguans. Also, operators that seize them first, can gain a competitive advantage. Most notable is the promise of 5G, with regulator Telcor planning for 5G with new spectrum licenses in the 3.5GHz band — a type of spectrum that has enabled dramatic improvements in speeds and video experience in other markets such as the U.S. and globally, as well as a more consistent experience with 5G.

Overall Experience
Coverage
Consistency
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
52.4
Tigo
36.6
014284256
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
52.9
Tigo
42.6
014284256
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
75.2
Tigo
70.2
020406080
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Claro
15.3
Tigo
11.4
05101520
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Claro
8.7
Tigo
6.2
02.557.510
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image

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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Claro

Tigo

Availability
4G Coverage Experience
Availability
% of time
Claro
97.2
Tigo
94.4
0255075100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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4G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Claro
4.9
Tigo
5.0
01.534.56
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.

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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.

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.

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Excellent Consistent Quality
Core Consistent Quality
Excellent Consistent Quality
% of tests
Claro
58.6
Tigo
45.8
015304560
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Core Consistent Quality
% of tests
Claro
78.8
Tigo
67.8
020406080
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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