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Romania

Mobile Network Experience Report
January 2024

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: Sep 01 - Nov 29, 2023

Romania

Mobile Network Experience Report
January 2024

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: Sep 01 - Nov 29, 2023

Key Findings

Orange takes the lead for Consistent Quality

Orange moves into first place for Consistent Quality, as previous winner Digi Mobil slips down to third place. Orange’s score of 73.7% gives it a 1.7 percentage point lead over second-placed Vodafone. Orange is the only Romanian operator that did not see a statistically significant decline in score between reports. Digi Mobil’s score decreased the most, by three percentage points, followed by Vodafone (two percentage points) and Telekom (1.4 percentage points).

Our Romanian users have the best coverage experience on Orange

Orange wins both the overall and 5G Coverage Experience awards and is the first Romanian operator to win either award. It wins Coverage Experience with a score of 7.3 points on a 10-point scale, and a lead of 0.8 points over runner-up Digi Mobil. Orange’s score of 0.4 points for 5G Coverage Experience is enough to secure it the win but leaves much to be desired — Vodafone scores 0.2 points in second place. 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.

Digi Mobile and Orange jointly win the 5G Upload Speed award

Digi Mobil leaps into joint first place for 5G Upload Speed, sharing the award with Orange. In the preceding report, Digi Mobil occupied the bottom position with users experiencing 5G upload speeds four times lower than the leader, Orange. A remarkable score increase of 20.1Mbps (250.2%) has completely reversed the standings, elevating Digi Mobil's score to 28.2Mbps, placing it statistically level with Orange's 29.6Mbps.

Orange now wins both overall speed awards outright

Orange retains the award for overall Download Speed Experience, which it has won outright since Opensignal first reported on the Romanian mobile network experience in January 2020. Additionally, Orange now wins Upload Speed Experience outright, meaning that our users have the fastest overall experience on Orange’s network. Orange wins Download Speed Experience with a score of 37.8Mbps and a lead of 4.5Mbps over runner-up Digi Mobil; Orange wins Upload Speed with a score of 11.8Mbps, 0.9Mbps above the closest competitor — Vodafone.

Digi Mobil joins Orange and Vodafone on the winners’ podium for 5G Games Experience

Digi Mobil's 5G Games Experience score is statistically equivalent to that of Orange and Vodafone; the three operators share the 5G Games Experience award with scores of 82-83 points on a 100-point scale. Digi Mobil catches up to first place due to its score increasing by nine points between reports, while the other three operators’ scores did not change significantly. Digi Mobil, Orange and Vodafone all place in the Good (75-85) category for 5G Games Experience.

Mobile Experience Awards

January 2024, Romania Report
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Market Overview

In this report on the mobile network experience in Romania, Orange steals the show — winning every single award, either jointly or outright. Orange picks up wins for both new Coverage Experience awards (overall and 5G), which represent the real-world experience users receive as they travel around areas where they would reasonably expect to find coverage. Additionally, Orange takes the Consistent Quality award from Digi Mobile and wins both overall speed awards outright.

Digi Mobil has a more modest tally of awards, at eight shared victories — finishing joint first in all six experiential awards. This includes sharing the two new Live Video Experience awards — overall and 5G — with Orange and Vodafone. Live Video Experience quantifies our users’ experience when viewing live video streams used for current events — such as live sports, game streams and music concerts. Vodafone has the third largest haul at six joint wins, and Telekom brings up the rear with a solitary first-place finish.

Romanian regulator the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) has reached an agreement with the telecoms industry to modify the procedure for granting spectrum usage rights. Key changes, agreed upon during the Advisory Council meeting on August 18, primarily address aspects related to the regulation of shared use of licensed frequency resources, the leasing and transfer of spectrum usage rights, and the streamlining of the authorization process for base stations within public mobile and fixed electronic communications networks. ANCOM, in a press release, clarified that shared spectrum use will be authorized only in bands where no additional frequencies are available at the time of the request, competition is not harmed and they continue to meet their individual coverage requirements. Network operators must seek ANCOM's approval for spectrum sharing via written application.

Digi, the mobile network operator in Romania with the most subscribers, has successfully retired its 3G network — repurposing the 2100MHz spectrum for its 4G services. Digi intends to use the 2x15Mhz spectrum blocks to improve service outside of metro areas.

In this report we examine the mobile network experience of the four main mobile network operators in Romania — Digi Mobil, Orange, Telekom and Vodafone — over a period of 90 days starting on September 01, 2023 and ending on November 29, 2023, to see how they fared.

Overall Experience
5G Experience
Coverage
Consistency
Video Experience
Live Video Experience
Games Experience
Download Speed Experience
Upload Speed Experience
Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Digi Mobil
66.4
Orange
65.5
Telekom
55.2
Vodafone
64.9
017.53552.570
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Live Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Digi Mobil
56.8
Orange
57.3
Telekom
52.3
Vodafone
55.9
015304560
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Digi Mobil
70.8
Orange
69.8
Telekom
66.9
Vodafone
69.5
019385776
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Download Speed Experience
in Mbps
Digi Mobil
33.3
Orange
37.8
Telekom
24.0
Vodafone
28.3
010203040
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Upload Speed Experience
in Mbps
Digi Mobil
9.8
Orange
11.8
Telekom
8.5
Vodafone
10.9
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 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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5G Video Experience
5G Live Video Experience
5G Games Experience
5G Download Speed
5G Upload Speed
5G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Digi Mobil
76.0
Orange
76.3
Telekom
68.2
Vodafone
74.6
020406080
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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5G Live Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Digi Mobil
70.1
Orange
71.0
Vodafone
70.1
019385776
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
5G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Digi Mobil
82.4
Orange
82.0
Telekom
72.7
Vodafone
83.0
021.54364.586
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image
5G Download Speed
in Mbps
Digi Mobil
135.7
Orange
203.8
Telekom
52.2
Vodafone
94.3
054108162216
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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5G Upload Speed
in Mbps
Digi Mobil
28.2
Orange
29.6
Telekom
15.9
Vodafone
23.8
09182736
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
Download Image

Definitions

5G Video Experience quantifies the quality of mobile video experienced by Opensignal users on real-world video streams when they were connected to 5G. 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 5G Video Experience, we are directly measuring video streams from end-user devices and using this ITU approach to quantify the video experience observed by our users on each operator’s 5G network 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.

Learn more

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.

5G Live Video Experience quantifies the quality of mobile video experienced by Opensignal users on real-world live video streams when they were connected to 5G.

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Definitions

5G Games Experience measures how mobile users experience real-time multiplayer mobile gaming on an operator's 5G network. It analyzes how our users’ multiplayer mobile gaming experience was affected by mobile network conditions including latency, packet loss and jitter. 5G Games Experience for each operator is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100.

5G 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 5G Games Experience starts with measuring the end-to-end experience from users’ devices to internet end-points that host real games.

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Definitions

5G Download Speed shows the average download speed experienced by Opensignal users across an operator’s 5G network. 5G Download Speed for each operator is calculated in Mbps (Megabits per second).

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Definitions

5G Upload Speed measures the average upload speeds experienced by Opensignal users across an operator’s 5G network. 5G Upload Speed for each operator is calculated in Mbps (Megabits per second).

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Coverage Experience
5G Coverage Experience
Availability
5G Availability
Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Digi Mobil
6.5
Orange
7.3
Telekom
3.7
Vodafone
6.1
02468
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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5G Coverage Experience
in 0-10 points
Digi Mobil
0.1
Orange
0.4
Telekom
0.1
Vodafone
0.2
00.511.52
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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Availability
% of time
Digi Mobil
96.8
Orange
97.4
Telekom
88.2
Vodafone
96.6
0255075100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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5G Availability
% of time
Digi Mobil
4.2
Orange
8.1
Telekom
9.5
Vodafone
8.3
0481216
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
Read why confidence intervals are important.
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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.

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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.

5G Coverage Experience shows the proportion of places Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription had an active 5G connection.

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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.

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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.

5G Availability shows the proportion of time Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription had an active 5G connection.

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Consistent Quality
Consistent Quality
% of tests
Digi Mobil
71.5
Orange
73.7
Telekom
64.7
Vodafone
72.0
019385776
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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