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El Salvador

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: Sam Fenwick, Principal Analyst Data Collection Period: Feb 01 - May 01, 2023

El Salvador

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: Sam Fenwick, Principal Analyst

Data Collection Period: Feb 01 - May 01, 2023

Key Findings

Claro sweeps the awards table, winning all the awards — jointly or outright

For the third report in a row, Claro is at least a joint winner in every category. This time it wins four awards outright and shares five awards with other operators. In comparison, the operator with the next largest haul — Tigo — is a joint winner in four categories.

Claro users have the most consistent experience in El Salvador

Claro is the outright winner of both consistency awards — Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality. It retains the Excellent Consistent Quality award from the last report, being the only operator in the country to win it in Opensignal mobile network experience reports since its introduction. Claro has returned to being the outright winner for Core Consistent Quality after sharing the award last time around due to a statistical tie with Tigo. Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality measure the percentage of our users’ tests that meet the recommended performance threshold for demanding and less demanding common applications, respectively.

Claro remains unbeaten on speed

Once again, Claro is the outright winner for both Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience — and is still the only Salvadoran operator to win these awards in an Opensignal mobile network experience report, having won them ever since the first report back in June 2022. Claro wins Download Speed Experience this time with a score of 27.1Mbps, giving it a lead of around 14.3Mbps over Digicel and Tigo — which are statistically tied for second place with scores of 12.3-13.3Mbps. Our Claro users observe overall average upload speeds of 10.8Mbps, around 4.4Mbps ahead of those on other operators’ as Digicel, Movistar and Tigo are tied for second place with scores of 6.3-6.6Mbps.

Digicel draws level with Claro on Video Experience, but Claro jointly wins all three experiential awards

Claro and Digicel share the Video Experience award with statistically tied scores of 52.1-56.4 points on a 100-point scale. This is a change from the last report, when Claro won outright and means that our Claro and Digicel users, on average, have the best available experience in El Salvador when streaming mobile video over cellular connections. Claro remains a joint winner for Games Experience and Voice App Experience — the other two experiential awards. It and Tigo continue to share the Voice App Experience award. Meanwhile, the number of joint winners for Games Experience has dropped to two — Claro and Tigo — as Digicel has dropped off the winners’ podium.

Tigo and Claro come top for Availability and 4G Availability

Our Claro and Tigo users spend the most time connected to a 3G or better signal in El Salvador — 96.7-96.8% — making the two operators joint winners of the Availability award. This is a change from the last report, when Claro won the award outright. Meanwhile, the two operators continue to share the 4G Availability award, which measures the proportion of time that 4G users spend connected to 4G. Claro and Tigo jointly win with statistically tied scores of 84.8-85.7%.

Mobile Experience Awards

June 2023, El Salvador Report
Download Image

Market Overview

Once again, Claro reaps an impressive harvest, winning all of the available awards outright or jointly. It is the outright winner across both speed awards (Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience) and both consistency awards. However, it now ties with Tigo for Availability and with Digicel for Video Experience — instead of winning them outright, as was the case in the previous report.

Tigo has the next largest haul, being a joint winner across four categories, as it shares first place with Claro for Games Experience, Voice App Experience, Availability and 4G Availability. Digicel has a single joint win to its name this time around (Video Experience), while Movistar still has yet to make an appearance on the awards table.

In the first analysis to use our new Coverage Experience methodology, Claro and Tigo are statistically tied for first place for overall Coverage Experience in El Salvador with scores of 7-7.3 points on a 10-point scale, while Digicel and Movistar tie with identical scores of 4.3 points. Opensignal’s new Coverage Experience metric represents the real-world experience users receive as they travel around areas where they would reasonably expect to find coverage.

In this Opensignal report on El Salvador, we examine the mobile network experience of the four main mobile network operators: Claro, Digicel, Movistar and Tigo, over a period of 90 days starting on February 1, 2023 and ending on May 1, 2023, to see how they performed.

Video Experience scores account for adaptive bitrate streaming (ABR), a technology that allows Opensignal to accurately represent users’ real video experience including video streams up to 4K quality.

Overall Experience
Coverage
Consistency
Video Experience
Games Experience
Voice App Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
56.4
Digicel
52.1
Movistar
41.5
Tigo
47.6
015304560
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
51.6
Digicel
44.6
Movistar
48.4
Tigo
54.1
015304560
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
75.0
Digicel
70.5
Movistar
73.3
Tigo
76.6
020406080
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Claro
27.1
Digicel
12.3
Movistar
11.5
Tigo
13.3
07.51522.530
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Claro
10.8
Digicel
6.3
Movistar
6.4
Tigo
6.6
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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Claro

Digicel

Movistar

Tigo

Availability
4G Availability
Availability
% of time
Claro
96.7
Digicel
93.6
Movistar
92.7
Tigo
96.8
0255075100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Availability
% of time
Claro
85.7
Digicel
68.3
Movistar
69.2
Tigo
84.8
022.54567.590
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
Claro
73.0
Digicel
65.1
Movistar
57.2
Tigo
54.9
019385776
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Core Consistent Quality
% of tests
Claro
83.9
Digicel
82.7
Movistar
79.1
Tigo
80.6
021.54364.586
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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