Crowdsourced data analysis firm Tutela has today published the results of their Global Mobile Experience Report, which ranks 167 countries by measuring the quality of their 3G and 4G based mobile networks (e.g. O2, Three UK, EE and Vodafone). Overall the United Kingdom placed just 36th.
The company typically collects anonymous data and runs network tests via software embedded in a diverse range of over 3,000 consumer applications on iOS and Android devices (Smartphones, Tablets etc.), which enable the measurement of real-world quality of experience for mobile users. In this report they collated over 170 million speed tests from 60 million unique devices between 1st May and 1st August 2019.
Tutela then converts this data into two different measurements – Excellent Consistent Quality (ECQ) and Core Consistent Quality (CCQ). Both reflect a set of thresholds that represent network suitability for different activities (video streaming, making calls etc.) and these are then converted into a score out of 100% (100 being the best)
If a connection hits the ECQ standard (e.g. minimum of 5Mbps mobile broadband download and 50ms latency), it’s sufficient for more demanding mobile use-cases (e.g. 1080p video streaming), while a CCQ connection is considered good enough for SD video streaming, web browsing, emails and VOIP (e.g. 1Mbps and 100ms latency), but users are more likely to experience delays or buffering when trying to use more demanding apps.
Interestingly the UK was ranked 36th for both ECQ (73.6%) and CCQ (95.5%). The UK finished in front of the United States for both ECQ and CCQ, but lagged other developed nations such as Canada, the Czech Republic, and Australia. In the global country rankings, Japan came top of the leaderboard with the highest level of ECQ, while Norway (which came second for ECQ by just 0.1%) came top for CCQ.
Tom Luke, VP at Tutela, said:
“Our results come at a time when the UK telecoms industry is laser-focused on the deployment of 5G. Whilst the next generation of wireless technology will be a vital component of future networks, operators need to ensure that investments continue to be made in existing 4G networks to keep up with the rest of the world.
We are already seeing the growing importance of HD video, with 1080p smartphone screens now being the most common according to DeviceAtlas and new devices like the iPhone 11 making HD viewing the expectation for many. As other high intensity uses grow in popularity, meeting these higher levels of network quality and consistency will be ever more important for delighting mobile users in an increasingly competitive industry.”
As usual we should point out that testing conducted via non-dedicated apps can be less accurate than dedicate solutions and crowdsourced data may also be affected by the user’s location, as well as any limitations of the device being used and it similarly lacks a common type of hardware (useful when trying to form a solid scientific baseline). Suffice to say that testing like this may not always tell the whole story.
Now for the full results table, get ready for some serious scrolling..