State of Mobile Experience
In our annual benchmark report for Spain, we have evaluated over 9 million speed and latency tests, conducted on the smartphones of real-world users of national mobile operators within Common Coverage Areas, between April 1st, 2021 and September 30th, 2021.
Data consumption grew exponentially during the pandemic and even as pandemic - related restrictions are now being relaxed, the demand for telecom services continues to grow. In Spain, traffic on Vodafone’s network reportedly grew by 30% in summer, mainly due to video streaming apps such as YouTube and Tik Tok. To keep up with this demand, operators around the world had to adapt and undertake different initiatives. For example, Telefonica reportedly increased its 5G coverage to 150 coastal resorts to meet summer tourist demands.
While operators approach this challenge in different ways, improving capacity through 5G deployments is what the majority of operators are focussing on. The Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation conducted two spectrum auctions for different frequency bands this year, both concluding in a day. The 3.5 GHz auction that concluded in February, had two winners, Orange and Telefonica - each having acquired a 10 MHz block of the frequency band. The second auction for the 700 MHz frequency band took place in July where Telefonica, Orange and Vodafone all secured 2×10 MHz blocks of these critical frequencies. The Spanish government also plans to conduct an auction for the 26 GHz band between the end of 2021 and early 2022.
Other initiatives by operators included Masmovil rolling out VoLTE services for its Android customers in July while iOS users were expected to get this service by September 2021. The operator also had an agreement with Vantage Towers where it will use the tower company’s infrastructure to speed up its 5G deployment.
Date range: 1 April 2021 - 30 September 2021
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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.
Movistar had the highest Excellent Consistent Quality in Common Coverage Areas across Spain with 83.2% of connections good enough for demanding applications like 1080p video streaming, HD group video calling and real time mobile gaming. Trailing by 7%, Orange placed second at 76.2% followed by Yoigo at 71.2%. Vodafone was in fourth place at 61.4% with a difference of 21.8% between the operator and first placed Movistar.
For Core Consistent Quality, Tutela’s metric for when a connection is good enough for use cases such as web browsing, social media sharing and SD video streaming, Movistar placed first at 93.5%. Orange was in second place at 90.9% closely followed by Yoigo at 89.5% while Vodafone placed last with a Core Consistent Quality of 85.4%.
For Consistent Quality performance on a 5G network, Movistar again topped the leaderboard with an Excellent Consistent Quality of 91.5% in Common Coverage Areas across the country. The trend continued with Orange securing second place in this category at 89.4% followed by Yoigo at 87.4% and Vodafone in last place at 75.2%.
All four operators reached the 90% threshold for Core Consistent Quality with a statistical tie for first place between three operators: Movistar, Orange and Yoigo, meaning subscribers on all three operators had an identical experience on a 5G network for everyday use cases such as web browsing and social media sharing. Vodafone placed fourth with a Core Consistent Quality of 90.0%.
Movistar had the largest relative area coverage in Spain, with a 4G/5G coverage score of 529 and a total coverage score of 577. In terms of 5G coverage, the recently introduced metric in our reports that measures coverage out of 100, Movistar again scored highest with 85 points. While insightful, this observation is not surprising since Telefonica had already covered 80% of Spain’s population by the end of quarter one of 2021 spanning 1,253 towns and cities.
Yoigo had the second greatest 4G/5G as well as total coverage score. With a 4G/5G coverage score of 488, it trailed behind Movistar by 41 points, while the difference between Movistar and Yoigo for total coverage was 24 points, with Yoigo securing 553 out of 1000. However, for 5G coverage score, Yoigo was pushed to third place with a score of 27/100.
Orange scored 477 for combined 4G/5G coverage and 528 points out of 1000 for total coverage. Although it placed third across all network generations, Orange outperformed Yoigo when it came to 5G coverage only, having a score of 35 out of 100. The operator however, is expanding its coverage steadily with 442 towns and cities already connected to 5G as of May, 2021 and a goal to reach 90% of the country’s population by 2022.
Vodafone placed last with a 4G/5G score of 472 and total coverage score of 524 closely following Orange. However, looking at 5G coverage independently, the operator has a lot of catching up to do having a score of a mere 8 out of 100. Having acquired two 10 MHz blocks of spectrum in the 700 MHz band in an auction that was conducted in July 2021, it can be expected that this score will keep improving over time.
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 extremely close with Movistar in the lead at a score of 3.87. Orange placed second with a score of 3.76 closely followed by Vodafone at 3.72. Yoigo was pushed to fourth place with a video experience score of 3.68.
|Download median||28.2 Mbps +/- 0.04 Mbps||26.0 Mbps +/- 0.05 Mbps||20.0 Mbps +/- 0.04 Mbps||20.6 Mbps +/- 0.03 Mbps|
|Download % above 5 Mbps||93.5%||88.3%||77.9%||90.1%|
|Upload median||10.8 Mbps +/- 0.02 Mbps||9.4 Mbps +/- 0.02 Mbps||8.1 Mbps +/- 0.01 Mbps||8.0 Mbps +/- 0.01 Mbps|
|Upload % above 1.5 Mbps||93.8%||92.2%||93.2%||88.6%|
|Latency % below 50 ms||99.9%||99.8%||99.8%||99.5%|
|Jitter % below 12 ms||98.5%||96.8%||97.8%||97.5%|
|Packet discard % below 1%||98.2%||97.3%||92.3%||90.9%|
|Download median||39.9 Mbps +/- 0.64 Mbps||76.6 Mbps +/- 1.69 Mbps||52.8 Mbps +/- 0.72 Mbps||46.0 Mbps +/- 1.14 Mbps|
|Download % above 5 Mbps||98.0%||98.0%||90.6%||97.9%|
|Upload median||14.8 Mbps +/- 0.24 Mbps||14.2 Mbps +/- 0.38 Mbps||14.2 Mbps +/- 0.38 Mbps||14.0 Mbps +/- 0.39 Mbps|
|Upload % above 1.5 Mbps||98.1%||97.0%||98.4%||96.7%|
|Latency % below 50 ms||99.9%||100%||99.9%||99.9%|
|Jitter % below 12 ms||98.8%||98.5%||99.0%||98.3%|
|Packet discard % below 1%||97.6%||96.8%||92.4%||94.4%|