When you use a mobile network, your traffic has to co-exist with traffic generated by other users currently connected to the same cell. Your speed experience will depend on how much and what type of traffic those other users generate. It will also depend on how your operator has dimensioned that cell, i.e. how many carriers they have put up. Ultimately that depends on the available spectrum your operator has access to.
When operators want to convince us how great their networks are, they typically talk about download speed, i.e. how many Mbit/s users on their network averagely get when downloading something from the internet. It is being supported by a number of independent network performance specialists – Tutela, Opensignal, Ookla, P3, RootMetrics – issuing country reports naming winning networks.
These reports are actually often multi-faceted with several performance metrics, but that is often too complex to use in marketing, operators think. The simplified marketing message becomes: Speed is good – and we won.
Few people think through their New Year resolutions in advance. That’s perhaps the reason to why they typically don’t last longer than the first week of February.
Making industry predictions for an upcoming year is of course something totally different. It’s hard work and no champagne. Fine analysts use twelve months to gather and refine the best ideas and to substantiate these with tons of data points – just to give it all for free to the world. It’s charity at its best.
When we once again dive into OpenSignal‘s crowdsourced stats from the Nordics it is to see if something changed with regards to the network experiences of mobile customers in the region.
This is the third time we address this. The first blog – with data from the autumn of 2017 – contains all the background and reasoning. It was followed up by another blog based on data from the winter of 2017/18.
This time the data is gathered from March to May 2018 and covers about 490 million readings from about 15000 unique devices. The data has not been published by OpenSignal but has been shared with us through OpenSignal’s analyst program.
The graph below ranks the fourteen operators in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland after how large proportion of time 4G capable devices have been connected to 4G. OpenSignal calls this 4G availability.
2019 will be a year with significant uncertainty for many operators. Will we get that frequency license? Will the merger in our market be approved? Will we be able to launch 5G? Will competing fixed wireless propositions steal our broadband customers and erode prices? Will our competitors begin producing original content?
Good then that there are questions that can be answered here and now. These are the ones we know many of you are busy with:
Two years ago, telcos were still proudly reporting their progress in utilisation of their own public Wi-Fi hotspots for cost efficient offloading of mobile data. Public Wi-Fi was also positioned as an investment in a better customer experience – especially in public indoor environments. Telcos that were late with 4G – such as in Taiwan and Belgium – could utilise their public Wi-Fi to bridge the transition from 3G to 4G.
Those of you that read our series of international mobile data analyses know that Finland is the country with the highest average mobile data consumption in the world.
Truly unlimited mobile data is a key explanation to this: 66% of Finland’s mobile subscriptions (excl. M2M) had unlimited mobile data in June. As a direct consequence of this Finns have developed a readiness to try out new apps and services at any location and at any time – as they never have to consider the data consumption or the associated cost. The habit of ‘Wi-Fi hunting’ is not spread in Finland.
American carriers and uncarriers are embracing fixed wireless as one of the first use cases that 5G will solve. Verizon finally lifted the curtain on its fixed wireless offering yesterday: Verizon 5G Home. October 1 it will be available for 50 USD per month to existing Verizon customers in certain areas in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento.
T-Mobile’s 5G will – to use their own words – have more ‘breadth and depth‘ than Verizon’s. With 5G, T-Mobile will position itself within fixed wireless for the first time:
“51% of Americans have only one high-speed broadband option – no choice at all! The combined company will create a viable alternative for millions by enabling mobile connections that rival broadband, driving prices lower and improving service.”
The only caveat when it comes to T-Mobile’s ambition is that it is conditional. This will happen if T-Mobile and Sprint are allowed to merge – a decision not yet made.
The data is gathered from December 2017 to February 2018 and covers about 380 million readings from about 12000 unique devices. The data has not been published by OpenSignal but has been shared with us through OpenSignal’s analyst program.
The graph below ranks the fourteen operators in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland after how large proportion of time 4G LTE capable devices have been connected to 4G LTE. OpenSignal calls this 4G availability.
Fresh milk and mobile data seem to share the same bacteria problem. Even if treated carefully, it eventually goes sour. To protect consumers from a possibly unpleasant experience, dairy producers put a best before date on milk cartons. Mobile operators go further – they revoke unused mobile data before those gigabytes have become a health hazard.
But consumers have started to question if unused data really is unhealthy and deserve a similar down-the-drain treatment as sour milk. Clever mobile operators realised that they can offer rollover data. One of the pioneers globally is New Zealand’s 2degrees. In this video they ask what is happening to all that leftover data.
OpenSignal, the company that crowdsources mobile speed and availability experiences from smartphone users worldwide, released its latest State of LTE report today.
It is based on 59 billion measurements and shows that 4G LTE speeds in the fastest countries are in a holding pattern where they don’t increase. The availability of 4G LTE is still improving though, and five countries have now joined the 90% of time club. Three months ago, that club only had two members.