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Afghanistan

Mobile Network Experience Report
December 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: Aug 01 - Oct 29, 2023

Afghanistan

Mobile Network Experience Report
December 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: Aug 01 - Oct 29, 2023

Key Findings

MTN takes the lead for Upload Speed Experience

MTN is the new outright winner of the Upload Speed Experience award — this is a change from the previous report when it shared the award with Etisalat. MTN wins this time with a score of 1.1Mbps, 0.3Mbps above tied Etisalat and Roshan. MTN pulls ahead due to its score increasing by 0.3Mbps, while Etisalat’s score has not changed a statistically significant amount. Roshan and AWCC users also see increases in average upload speed, 0.3Mbps and 0.1Mbps, respectively.

MTN is first for Coverage Experience

MTN wins Coverage Experience outright on the awards first inclusion in Afghani mobile network experience reports. It does so with a score of 4.4 points on a 10-point scale, and a lead of 0.4 points over runner-up AWCC — Etisalat and Roshan finish third and fourth, respectively. 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.

AWCC and MTN share the Live Video Experience award

AWCC and MTN share first place for the new Live Video Experience metric, which quantifies our users’ experience when viewing live video streams used for current events — such as live sports, game streams and music concerts. The pair come first with statistically similar scores of 22-24.4 points on a 100-point scale and a lead of around 6.2 points over Etisalat and Roshan, which tie for third.

Roshan joins AWCC and Etisalat on the winners’ podium for Availability

Roshan steps onto the podium for Availability, now jointly winning the award with AWCC and Etisalat. The three operators have statistically tied scores of 87.5-90.4%, meaning that our users on these networks proportionally spend at least 87.5% of their time with a 3G or 4G connection. MTN is 9.6 percentage points below the lead trio, with its score of 78.9%.

Mobile Experience Awards

December 2023, Afghanistan Report
Download Image

Market Overview

This is the second time that Opensignal has reported on the mobile network experience in Afghanistan. In this report we include two new awards, Live Video Experience and Coverage Experience.

AWCC is once again the most awarded operator in Afghanistan, taking home six first place finishes. AWCC jointly wins six awards, stepping onto the winners’ podium for the new Live Video Experience award and also Download Speed Experience. Etisalat and MTN each have five total wins. Etisalat shares five victories, while MTN shares three and wins two outright — Upload Speed Experience and the new Coverage Experience award. Roshan has no outright wins, but its tally does increase from one to three this time around, taking home joint first in both availability awards and Download Speed Experience.

In June 2023, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in Afghanistan signed contracts with MTN and AWCC to extend coverage to remote areas, thereby guaranteeing mobile connectivity for previously underserved communities.

In this report we examine the mobile network experience of the four main mobile network operators in Afghanistan — AWCC, MTN, Etisalat and Roshan — over a period of 90 days starting on August 1, 2023 and ending on October 29, 2023, to see how they fared.

Overall Experience
Coverage
Video Experience
Live Video Experience
Games Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Overall
4G
3G
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
24.8
Etisalat
23.1
MTN
22.5
Roshan
17.9
07.51522.530
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
33.7
Etisalat
26.2
MTN
34.2
Roshan
22.1
010203040
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
3G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
23.8
Etisalat
24.6
MTN
22.4
Roshan
18.0
07.51522.530
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Overall
4G
3G
Live Video Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
24.4
Etisalat
16.8
MTN
22.0
Roshan
17.2
07.51522.530
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Live Video Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
29.3
Etisalat
23.3
MTN
31.4
Roshan
22.0
010203040
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
3G Live Video Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
21.5
MTN
21.5
06.51319.526
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Overall
4G
3G
Games Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
30.4
Etisalat
30.0
MTN
28.2
Roshan
29.4
09182736
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
34.6
Etisalat
32.8
MTN
33.8
Roshan
32.5
010203040
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
3G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
AWCC
30.6
Etisalat
29.9
MTN
29.3
Roshan
29.1
09182736
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Overall
4G
3G
Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
AWCC
2.8
Etisalat
3.0
MTN
2.7
Roshan
2.9
01234
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Download Speed
in Mbps
AWCC
3.9
Etisalat
3.8
MTN
3.8
Roshan
3.8
01.534.56
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
3G Download Speed
in Mbps
AWCC
2.6
Etisalat
2.9
MTN
3.1
Roshan
2.7
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
1.1
Roshan
0.8
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
1.4
MTN
2.9
Roshan
1.2
01234
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
3G Upload Speed
in Mbps
AWCC
0.5
Etisalat
0.5
MTN
0.8
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 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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AWCC

Etisalat

MTN

Roshan

Coverage Experience
Availability
4G Availability
Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
AWCC
4.0
Etisalat
3.5
MTN
4.4
Roshan
2.1
01.534.56
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Availability
% of time
AWCC
87.5
Etisalat
90.4
MTN
78.9
Roshan
87.7
024487296
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Availability
% of time
AWCC
55.9
Etisalat
55.6
MTN
53.4
Roshan
59.1
016.53349.566
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.

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

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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