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Afghanistan

Mobile Network Experience Report
June 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: Feb 01 - May 01, 2023

Afghanistan

Mobile Network Experience Report
June 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: Feb 01 - May 01, 2023

Key Findings

Etisalat has the fastest Download Speed Experience

Etisalat places at least joint first in both speed awards, winning Download Speed Experience outright, and sharing Upload Speed Experience with MTN. Etisalat manages to snag the Download Speed Experience award with a score of 3.3Mbps, 0.6Mbps ahead of rival AWCC — MTN and Roshan tie for third place. Etisalat and MTN jointly win Upload Speed Experience, both clocking in at 0.8Mbps, whileAWCC and Roshan share third place.

AWCC is top for consistency

AWCC takes home both consistency awards. The two awards represent the proportion of users' tests that meet the minimum performance thresholds — Core Consistent Quality for less demanding applications, and Excellent Consistent Quality for more demanding applications. The operator wins Core Consistent Quality with a score of 50.3% and lead of 4.3 percentage points over runner-up Roshan. AWCC wins Excellent Consistent Quality with a score of 14.5%, at least two times greater than any of the other operators.

AWCC has the best Voice App Experience in Afghanistan

AWCC is the first winner of the Voice App Experience award in Afghanistan — taking the top spot with a score of 54.3 points on a 100-point scale. Etisalat and Roshan aren’t far behind, as the pair statistically tie for second place around 3.2 points behind first. MTN brings up the rear with a score of 47 points

There is fierce competition for Availability, with the award going to both AWCC and Etisalat

Both the Availability and 4G Availability awards are close races — Availability is shared between Etisalat and AWCC, and 4G Availability is a three-way tie with Roshan joining Etisalat and AWCC. Etisalat’s and AWCC’s tied scores of 85.3-87.5% for Availability mean that our users, on these networks, spend over 85% of their time with a 3G or 4G connection. Likewise, our 4G users on Roshan’s, Etisalat’s and AWCC’s networks spend over 50% of their time with a 4G connection.

Etisalat and AWCC share the Video Experience and Games Experience awards

Etisalat and AWCC both step onto the winners’ podium for the Video Experience and Games Experience awards. The pair jointly win Video Experience and Games Experience with statistically tied scores of 24-26 points and 28.9-29.6 points, respectively — measured on a 100-point scale. This means that AWCC comes at least joint first for all three overall experiential awards.

Mobile Experience Awards

June 2023, Afghanistan Report
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Market Overview

In the first Opensignal report on the mobile network experience in Afghanistan, it is a two-horse race between AWCC and Etisalat, with AWCC edging just ahead in award count. AWCC manages to pick up seven total first place finishes — four joint and three outright. The operator wins both consistency awards outright along with Voice App Experience, and shares first place for both coverage awards and the two remaining experiential awards.

Etisalat has the second biggest award haul at six total victories — although only one outright win, for Download Speed Experience. Etisalat shares five first place finishes, the other speed award with MTN, both coverage awards and two experiential awards with AWCC.

Both MTN and Roshan have some work to do, with the pair only jointly winning one award apiece — MTN sharing Upload Speed Experience with Etisalat, and Roshan in a three-way-tie for 4G Availability with Etisalat and AWCC.

Opensignal has recently published an analysis using our new Coverage Experience metric — representing the real-world experience users receive as they travel around areas where they would reasonably expect to find coverage. In this report, MTN and AWCC come joint first for Overall Coverage Experience with statistically similar scores of 4.3-4.6 points on a 10-point scale — Etisalat and Roshan follow in third and fourth, with scores of 3.5 and 2.5 points, respectively.

South African Company MTN Group has announced in late 2022 an agreement to sell its Afghan business unit to holding company, M1 New Ventures. This comes after the group’s exit from the Yemeni and Syrian markets in 2021, as part of a larger move to leave the Middle Eastern market and focus on Africa. MTN has assured its customers that service will not be affected, and the only change will be in name.

In this report we examine the mobile network experience of the major mobile network operators in Afghanistan — AWCC, Etisalat, MTN and Roshan — over the 90 day period starting on February 1, 2023 and ending on May 1, 2023, to see how they fared.

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
AWCC
26.0
Etisalat
24.0
MTN
19.1
Roshan
21.2
07.51522.530
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
36.5
Etisalat
30.1
MTN
31.1
Roshan
30.4
010203040
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
3G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
22.9
Etisalat
25.4
MTN
22.2
Roshan
22.6
07.51522.530
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Overall
4G
3G
Games Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
29.6
Etisalat
28.9
MTN
26.5
Roshan
28.1
07.51522.530
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
35.2
Etisalat
32.4
MTN
32.8
Roshan
32.1
010203040
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
3G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
29.0
Etisalat
29.0
MTN
28.2
Roshan
28.9
07.51522.530
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Overall
4G
3G
Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
54.3
Etisalat
52.1
MTN
47.0
Roshan
50.1
015304560
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
66.9
Etisalat
59.0
MTN
61.8
Roshan
57.4
017.53552.570
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
3G Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
52.8
Etisalat
52.3
MTN
49.2
Roshan
51.4
014284256
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Overall
4G
3G
Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
AWCC
2.7
Etisalat
3.3
MTN
2.4
Roshan
2.5
01234
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Download Speed
in Mbps
AWCC
4.1
Etisalat
4.7
MTN
3.3
Roshan
3.4
01.534.56
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
3G Download Speed
in Mbps
AWCC
2.4
Etisalat
3.1
MTN
2.9
Roshan
2.8
01234
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Overall
4G
3G
Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
AWCC
0.6
Etisalat
0.8
MTN
0.8
Roshan
0.5
00.511.52
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Upload Speed
in Mbps
AWCC
1.0
Etisalat
1.5
MTN
2.2
Roshan
0.7
01234
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
3G Upload Speed
in Mbps
AWCC
0.4
Etisalat
0.4
MTN
0.7
Roshan
0.6
00.511.52
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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AWCC

Etisalat

MTN

Roshan

Availability
4G Availability
Availability
% of time
AWCC
85.3
Etisalat
87.5
MTN
77.2
Roshan
83.6
022.54567.590
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Availability
% of time
AWCC
57.6
Etisalat
52.0
MTN
48.8
Roshan
53.7
016.53349.566
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.

4G Availability shows the proportion of time Opensignal users with a 4G device and a 4G subscription — but have never connected to 5G — had a 4G connection.

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
AWCC
14.5
Etisalat
5.2
MTN
7.2
Roshan
6.9
05101520
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Core Consistent Quality
% of tests
AWCC
50.3
Etisalat
24.9
MTN
38.0
Roshan
46.0
014284256
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.

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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