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Nicaragua

Mobile Network Experience Report
October 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: Hardik Khatri, Senior Analyst Data Collection Period: Jul 01 - Sep 28, 2023

Nicaragua

Mobile Network Experience Report
October 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: Hardik Khatri, Senior Analyst

Data Collection Period: Jul 01 - Sep 28, 2023

Key Findings

Claro users continue to see the fastest mobile speeds in Nicaragua

Claro is the outright winner for both Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience awards for the second consecutive time. Claro wins Download Speed Experience this time with a score of 16.1Mbps, leading Tigo by 5.6Mbps (53.2%). Our Claro users observe average upload speeds of 9.1Mbps, 2.6Mbps (40.8%) faster than those on Tigo.

The most consistent experience is with Claro

Claro wins the Consistent Quality award — which replaces Excellent Consistent and Core Consistent Quality. It does so with a score of 54.6%, giving it a notable lead of 14.9 percentage points over Tigo. This indicates that Claro users see the greatest proportion of tests that meet the minimum thresholds to support more demanding commonly used mobile applications, such as video calling or uploading an image to social media.

Tigo takes the top spot for Coverage Experience

Tigo is the first operator in Nicaragua to win Opensignal's new Coverage Experience award. It does so with a score of 7.1 on a 10-point scale, ahead of Claro's 6.2 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. On the other hand, Claro continues to lead in Availability — the proportion of time that our users have a 3G or better connection. Claro wins Availability with a score of 97.4% and a lead of around three percentage points over Tigo.

Claro is top for Video, Live Video, and Games Experience

Our Claro users in Nicaragua continue to enjoy the best quality experience while streaming on-demand and live videos, as well as playing multiplayer mobile games.. As a result, Claro is the outright winner of the Video, Live Video and Games Experience awards. On 100-point scales, Claro's Video and Live Video Experience scores rate as Fair (48-58) and Good (43-53), respectively. On the other hand, Tigo earns a Poor rating across the three categories. However, both operators rate Poor for Games Experience.

Mobile Experience Awards

October 2023, Nicaragua Report
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Market Overview

In this second Opensignal report on the mobile network experience in Nicaragua, Claro continues to win the lion's share of the awards. Claro wins seven out of the eight awards outright — taking home the Download and Upload Speed Experience awards, the Video and Live Video Experience awards, as well as the Games Experience awards. On top of this, Claro wins the Availability and Consistent Quality awards. On the other hand, its rival, Tigo, leads in terms of Coverage Experience.

The telecommunications landscape in Nicaragua is undergoing significant changes. The Nicaraguan Telecom Institute (Telcor) has completed the clearance of the 900MHz band to facilitate mobile broadband services. Spectrum allocation will be determined based on market demand and regulatory compliance. Telcor is also planning to support 5G using the 3.5GHz band. These developments align with the government's National Plan to Fight Poverty and for Human Development 2022-2026.

This report examines the mobile network experience of the two main mobile network operators in Nicaragua, Claro and Tigo, over a period of 90 days, starting on July 1, 2023 and ending on September 29, 2023, to see how they compare.

Overall Experience
Coverage
Consistency
Video Experience
Live Video Experience
Games Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
51.9
Tigo
38.1
014284256
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Live Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
45.7
Tigo
32.5
012.52537.550
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
52.7
Tigo
41.6
014284256
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Claro
16.1
Tigo
10.5
05101520
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Claro
9.1
Tigo
6.4
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 Live Video Experience quantifies the quality of real-time video streamed to mobile devices by measuring video streams over an operator's network. The metric extends the existing International Telecommunication Union (ITU) approach used for Opensignal's on-demand Video Experience metric, built upon detailed studies which have derived a relationship between technical parameters, including live playback offset, picture quality, video loading time and stall rate, with the perceived live video experience as reported by real people. To calculate live video experience, we are directly measuring live video streams from end-user devices and using this extension of ITU's approach to quantify the overall live video experience for each operator on a scale from 0 to 100. The videos tested include a mixture of resolutions and are streamed directly from the world’s largest video content providers.

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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

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

Coverage Experience
Availability
Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Claro
6.2
Tigo
7.1
02468
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Availability
% of time
Claro
97.4
Tigo
94.4
0255075100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image

Definitions

The Opensignal Coverage Experience metric measures the extent of mobile networks in the places people live, work and travel. The metric represents the experience users receive as they travel around areas where they would reasonably expect to find coverage.

Traditional coverage metrics typically estimate either a percentage of land area covered, or a percentage of population covered; often neither will be an accurate measurement of the true user expectation and experience. In many markets there are areas where neither population density nor geographic area reflect the importance of coverage to users. For example, in a large mountain range most users will not expect coverage in the wilderness, but poor coverage in the relatively small area of a ski resort is critical for the enjoyment of a holiday. Estimates based purely on population give undue significance to coverage in the most densely populated areas.

Coverage Experience measures geographic coverage of populated areas and therefore more accurately reflects the coverage expectations and experience of typical users. It can give a result that is somewhat different to traditional estimates based on either geographic or population measures. The metric uses a scale from 0 to 10.

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

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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Consistent Quality
Consistent Quality
% of tests
Claro
54.6
Tigo
39.7
014284256
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Definitions

Consistent Quality measures if the network is sufficient to support common mobile application requirements at a level that is ‘good enough’ for users to maintain (or complete) various typical tasks on their devices.

We combine different experience indicators such as download speed, upload speed, latency, jitter, packet discard, and time to first byte to calculate Consistent Quality. These components are evaluated against thresholds recommended by various more demanding common applications used for a range of common tasks.

To calculate the metric value, the proportion of tests that pass the requirements of Consistent Quality is multiplied by the test success ratio, which is the proportion of completed tests to all tests conducted. Tests that pass indicate that activities such as video calling, uploading an image to social media, or using smart home applications will be possible without noticeable lag or slowdown.

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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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