State of Mobile Experience
Operators within the Benelux region continue to be powerhouses on a global scale when it comes to the overall mobile experience they provide to its users. Belgium was in the top 10 for the highest Excellent Consistent Quality, with a ranking of 9th and a result of 81.2% in Tutela’s latest Global Mobile Experience report for 2021. On an operator level, Orange and Proximus both made it to the top 30 operators list with Orange Belgium securing the 10th place and Proximus placing 19th.
Though operators in the region may be ahead of the curve, the job is never done, and must continue to build and improve on their infrastructure to reach number 1 in the world. Although 5G rollout in Belgium had been stalled due to disagreements between federal and regional governments, things are taking pace now. The Belgian government most recently approved conditions for the 5G spectrum auction which is planned to happen in the second quarter of 2022.
The possibility of a fourth operator entering the Belgian telecoms market has been expected for some time now with Citymesh being a strong contender where the operator was aiming to participate in the planned spectrum auction. Under the recently approved conditions, only a slice of the licences will be available to B2B operators like Citymesh preventing them from becoming a full mobile operator.
When it comes to 5G rollout, Proximus was reportedly the first operator to officially launch 5G in the country while Orange launched its first permanent 5G lab in Antwerp to develop new industry use-cases. Orange also plans to commercially launch a standalone 5G private network for enterprise customers in 2022. Further, in March 2021, Telenet (BASE) chose Ericsson, Nokia and Google cloud as partners for their 5G rollout as well as network upgrade project.
Ericsson’s role will include planning, design, operations and optimization, deployment of 5G hardware as well as modernisation of Telenet’s existing RAN with Ericsson Radio System products while Nokia will supply the core network for 5G deployment. Google Cloud’s Anthos will be utilized by both Ericsson and Nokia in Telenet’s data center. While 5G deployment has been a slow process in Belgium in comparison to its European counterparts, the initiatives mentioned previously demonstrate progress and the auction next year will only improve 5G rollout in the country.
Date range: 1 May 2021 - 31 October 2021
Download & response tests = 226,457
Total measurements = 13 million
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This report encompasses the following experience KPIs:
To ensure a fair comparison between operator performance, Tutela limits the results used in our comparisons to those collected within Common Coverage Areas.
Learn more about our benchmarking methodology here.
In Common Coverage Areas across Belgium, Orange was the winner with the highest Excellent Consistent Quality with 85.8% of connections good enough for demanding use-cases such as 1080p video streaming, HD group video calling and real time mobile gaming. It was closely followed by Proximus at 84.8% with BASE placing third at 81.8%, trailing behind Orange by 4%.
For Core Consistent Quality, Tutela’s metric for when a connection meets the requirements for use-cases like SD video streaming, social media sharing and web browsing, all operators reached the 90% threshold with Orange in the lead at 92.7%. Proximus narrowly missed first place with a Core Consistent Quality of 92.4% followed by BASE at 91.7%.
Proximus took the lead in the coverage category, with a 4G/5G coverage score of 661 and a total coverage score of 681. A difference of only 20 points between 4G/5G and total coverage indicates that subscribers on the operator’s network get more coverage from newer technology and reduce their dependence on older technologies like 3G.
Orange had the second greatest 4G/5G and total coverage score. With a 4G/5G coverage score of 608, the operator trailed behind Proximus by 53 points, while the difference between Orange and Proximus for total coverage was 47 points, with Orange securing 634 points out of 1000.
BASE again placed third with a 4G/5G score of 513 and total coverage score of 535. With a difference of 148 points between BASE and first place Proximus’s score, it is evident that BASE has some catching up to do when it comes to 4G/5G coverage. When it comes to total coverage, difference between the two operators was 146 points, again highlighting the importance of network expansion for BASE.
Tutela’s newest metric, Video Experience Score, evaluates the quality of experience subscribers are getting while video streaming and is calculated on a scale of 1-5. Operator scores in this category were close with a statistical tie between Proximus and Orange scoring 3.75 and 3.73, respectively. BASE came in third with a video experience score of 3.67.
With video streaming increasingly becoming one of the most in-demand use-cases, especially throughout the pandemic, video experience measured in real-time is a valuable insight for operators who can leverage it to provide a seamless service to their subscribers.
|31.2 Mbps +/- 0.31 Mbps
|29.7 Mbps +/- 0.22 Mbps
|32.5 Mbps +/- 0.24 Mbps
|Download % above 5 Mbps
|11.7 Mbps +/- 0.15 Mbps
|8.9 Mbps +/- 0.01 Mbps
|15.9 Mbps +/- 0.11 Mbps
|Upload % above 1.5 Mbps
|Latency % below 50 ms
|Jitter % below 12 ms
|Packet discard % below 1%