New Report on Iraqi Mobile Telecom Sector

From OpenSignal:

Asiacell users have the fastest experience in Iraq

Asiacell remains unbeaten in the average speeds seen by our Iraqi users. The operator wins Download Speed Experience and Upload Speed Experience for the third consecutive time, meaning no other Iraqi operator has won either award since we began reporting on the Iraqi mobile network experience back in January 2022.

This time, our Asiacell users observed average download speeds of 24.6 Mbps, 10.9 Mbps (79.2%) faster than Zain users and 2.6 times faster than Korek's score of 9.4 Mbps. Asiacell wins Upload Speed Experience with a score of 10.1 Mbps - 2.4 and 3.2 times faster than Zain's and Korek's scores of 4.3 Mbps and 3.1 Mbps, respectively.

Asiacell retains all three coverage awards

For the second time in a row Asiacell wins all three coverage awards outright (Availability, 4G Availability and 4G Coverage Experience). The average proportion of time that our Asiacell users spent with a 3G or better connection (Availability) was an impressive 98.3%, giving Asiacell a lead of around five percentage points over Korek and Zain, which had statistically tied scores of 93.2-93.6%. Asiacell's lead was far larger for 4G Availability - it wins with a score of 86.9%, 17.1 percentage points ahead of second placed Zain's 69.8%. Asiacell comes top for 4G Coverage Experience with a score of four points on a 10 point scale, followed by Zain with 3.7 points and Korek with 2.7 points.

Korek is a joint winner across both consistency awards

In the last report, Zain won the Excellent Consistent Quality and Core Consistent Quality awards outright. This time, the two awards are won jointly, but only Korek is a joint winner for both. Korek shares Excellent Core Consistency with Asiacell, because they have statistically tied scores of 42.9-44.2%, and wins Core Consistent Quality alongside Zain with tied scores of 72.9-73.0%.

Excellent Consistent Quality is the percentage of users' tests that met the minimum recommended performance thresholds to watch HD video, complete group video conference calls and play games. Core Consistent Quality uses thresholds for less demanding common applications including standard definition (SD) video, voice calls and web browsing.

Asiacell users enjoy the best experience when streaming video or using voice apps in Iraq

Asiacell is the sole winner of the Video Experience and Voice App Experience awards as it was in the last report. This time, the operator wins Video Experience as our users achieved a score of 45.3 points on a 100 point scale, far ahead of Zain's and Korek's statistically tied scores of 29.7-32.7 points. Asiacell's margin of victory for Voice App Experience was more modest, as it wins with a score of 73.1 points compared with Korek's and Zain's tied scores of 68.6-70.5 points.

Korek joins its rivals on the winners' podium for Games Experience

This time, when playing multiplayer mobile games over cellular connections, our Iraqi users observed no statistically significant difference in their experience between Iraq's three national operators. Asiacell, Korek and Zain are joint winners of the Games Experience award with scores of 39.5-42.5 points on a 100 point scale. This is a change from the previous report, when the award was only shared between Asiacell and Zain.

Market Overview

Once again, Asiacell dominates the Iraqi mobile network experience. This time it wins seven out of 10 awards outright and shares the Excellent Consistent Quality award with Korek. Asiacell is also a joint winner for Games Experience alongside Korek and Zain. Korek and Zain do not win any awards outright, instead jointly winning three and two awards, respectively.

In this report, we've analyzed our data gathered in the 90 day period beginning on September 1 and ending on November 29, 2022, to see how Iraq's three national operators - Asiacell, Korek and Zain - measure up.

National Analysis

Asiacell again wins the Video Experience award outright. This time, it does so with a score of 45.3 points on a 100 point scale, giving it a lead of around 14.1 points over Zain's and Korek's statistically tied scores of 29.7-32.7 points.

A Fair rating means that our Asiacell users did not have a good experience either for higher resolution videos (very slow loading times and prolonged stalling) or for some video streaming providers. The experience on lower resolution videos from some providers might have been sufficient though.

Definitions

Opensignal's Video Experience quantifies the quality of video streamed to mobile devices by measuring real-world video streams over an operator's networks. The metric is based on an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) approach, built upon detailed studies which have derived a relationship between technical parameters, including picture quality, video loading time and stall rate, with the perceived video experience as reported by real people.

To calculate video experience, we are directly measuring video streams from end-user devices and using this ITU approach to quantify the overall video experience for each operator on a scale from 0 to 100. The videos tested include a mixture of resolutions - including Full HD (FHD) and 4K / Ultra HD (UHD) - and are streamed directly from the world's largest video content providers.

In addition to Video Experience, we report on the following metrics related to video experience:

  • 5G Video Experience: The average Video Experience of Opensignal users when they were connected to an operator's 5G network.
  • Video Experience - 5G Users: The average Video Experience of Opensignal users with a 5G device and a 5G subscription across an operator's networks. It factors in 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G video experience along with the availability of each technology.
  • 4G Video Experience: The average Video Experience of Opensignal users on an operator's 4G network.
  • 3G Video Experience: The average Video Experience of Opensignal users on an operator's 3G network.

(Source: OpenSignal)

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