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El Salvador

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: Sam Fenwick, Principal Analyst Data Collection Period: Aug 01 - Oct 29, 2023

El Salvador

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: Sam Fenwick, Principal Analyst

Data Collection Period: Aug 01 - Oct 29, 2023

Key Findings

Claro comes top for Games Experience

Claro is the new outright winner of the Games Experience award, indicating that our Claro users have the best experience in El Salvador when it comes to playing multiplayer mobile games over cellular connections. This is a change from the last report when Claro shared the award with Tigo as their scores were statistically tied. This time, Claro wins with a score of 63.7 points on a 100-point scale, giving it a lead of around 8.3 points over its rivals, as Digicel, Movistar and Tigo share last place with statistically tied scores of 54.2-57.2 points.

Tigo users have the best Coverage Experience

Tigo is the first operator in El Salvador to win Opensignal’s new Coverage Experience award. It does so with a score of 7.5 points on a 10-point scale, giving it a lead of 0.4 points over second-placed Claro’s 7.1 points. Coverage Experience 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.

Claro continues to dominate both speed categories

Claro once again is the outright winner for both Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience. It remains 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 around with a score of 28.6Mbps, giving it a lead of 13.4Mbps over second-placed Movistar. This is a change from the last report when Digicel and Tigo were statistically tied for second place. Movistar’s score has risen by 3.8Mbps, while Tigo’s has dropped by 3.7Mbps. Our Claro users experience overall average upload speeds of 10.1Mbps, 1.5Mbps ahead of runner-up Movistar’s 8.6Mbps.

The most consistent experience is with Claro

Claro is the outright winner of the Consistent Quality award — which replaces the Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality awards which featured in previous reports (both of which were won outright by Claro last time around). Claro wins Consistent Quality with a score of 65% and a lead of around 13.3 percentage points over Digicel’s and Movistar’s identical scores of 51.7%. 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 demanding tasks on their devices.

Digicel and Claro share the new Live Video Experience award

Our Digicel and Claro users have the best available experience when it comes to streaming real-time video over mobile connections. The two operators share Opensignal’s new Live Video Experience award with statistically tied scores of 51-54.5 points on a 100-point scale, while Movistar and Tigo occupy joint last place with scores of 45.8-48.5 points. Unlike Video Experience, which represents on-demand video streams, Live Video Experience quantifies live video streaming used for current events. For example, when users watch live sports, game streams, music concerts, or news where the event is happening at that moment in time.

Mobile Experience Awards

December 2023, El Salvador Report
Download Image

Market Overview

Claro continues to impress as far as our awards table is concerned. This time, there is only one award that Claro does not win (either jointly or outright) — the new Coverage Experience award which Tigo wins outright. Claro retains both speed awards (Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience) from the previous report and is now also the sole winner of the Games Experience award after sharing it with Tigo last time around. Claro is also a joint winner in four categories — Video Experience and Live Video Experience alongside Digicel; Availability and 4G Availability alongside Tigo. Claro also wins the Consistent Quality award outright.

Movistar announced in November 2023 that it has completed the first phase of deployment of its LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network — which it describes as ‘5G Ready’. According to DPL News, the initial phase covers El Salvador’s main cities. The second phase will expand the network into the country’s interior and is scheduled to finish in June 2024.

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 August 1, 2023 and ending on October 29, 2023, to see how they performed.

Overall Experience
Coverage
Consistency
Video Experience
Live Video Experience
Games Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
56.1
Digicel
53.5
Movistar
48.9
Tigo
45.4
015304560
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Live Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
54.5
Digicel
51.0
Movistar
48.5
Tigo
45.8
015304560
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Claro
63.7
Digicel
54.8
Movistar
54.2
Tigo
57.2
016.53349.566
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Claro
28.6
Digicel
13.6
Movistar
15.3
Tigo
9.6
07.51522.530
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Claro
10.1
Digicel
6.7
Movistar
8.6
Tigo
6.0
0481216
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

Digicel

Movistar

Tigo

Coverage Experience
Availability
4G Availability
Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Claro
7.1
Digicel
3.9
Movistar
4.4
Tigo
7.5
02468
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
Availability
% of time
Claro
98.1
Digicel
94.2
Movistar
95.1
Tigo
97.3
0255075100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
4G Availability
% of time
Claro
86.5
Digicel
70.0
Movistar
77.3
Tigo
86.8
022.54567.590
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

Consistent Quality
Consistent Quality
% of tests
Claro
65.0
Digicel
51.7
Movistar
51.7
Tigo
43.2
017.53552.570
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image

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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