Network congestion represents one of the greatest problems that mobile operators need to manage on a day to day basis. But according to Tutela's data, Mexican network operators are handling an increasing demand for mobile data with ease. Across Mexico’s 10 largest cities, network congestion was relatively low, ranging from just 1.3% through to 5.6%. Movistar, which demonstrated the best 4G average download speed in our earlier State of Mobile Networks report for Mexico, also recorded the least congestion in six of the 10 largest cities in the country.
- Mobile networks in Mexican cities are significantly less congested than cities in the USA. Where the most congested cities in Mexico experience only a 5.6% slow-down during peak hours, cities like New York experience slowdowns of around 23%
- Congestion was particularly low in both Tijuana and Monterrey, which had the lowest percentage change in download speed at 1.3%
- Monterrey also had the fastest overall networks both during peak and off-peak times, at 11.3 and 11.5 Mbps respectively. Puebla meanwhile, which was the second most congested city in Mexico, had the slowest mobile networks during peak hours at 8.5 Mbps on average
- Movistar overall had the lowest rate of congestion (peak-hour speed reduction) in six of the 10 cities tested when looking at the percentage decrease in peak-hour download speed, while Telcel was best in three of the cities, including Mexico City
- Measurement period: 01 October 2018 to 31 March 2019
- Download and upload speed tests: >8 million (>8,000,000)
- Total measurements: >67 billion (> 67,000,000,000)
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Measuring network performance in cities
When looking at network performance in dense urban areas, network capacity is just as important as network coverage. With many users crammed into a few square miles, the network can become overloaded at peak times, even when you’ve got a perfect signal.
To measure the impact on network congestion on end users, Tutela has calculated the percentage slowdown of operators' networks across the largest urban areas. By comparing the average download speed of real-world users at peak times and the middle of the night, we can see the effect that hundreds of thousands of users has on the cellular infrastructure. A network that isn't being overly taxed by its users will have little slowdown at peak times, whilst a network with more serious congestion issues will see a major difference between download speeds during rush hour and the middle of the night.