OpenSignal report: Saudi Arabia made great strides in 5G availability, performance

OpenSignal report: Saudi Arabia made great strides in 5G availability, performance

"Benchmarking the GCC 5G Experience" report analysed and compared the 5G experiences of users in different GCC countries

A recent report on the experience of 5G technology in six GCC countries, revealed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has achieved strong growth in both speed, video experience, and the availability of the 5G network, despite its large geographical area, compared to the rest of the GCC countries.

OpenSignal's "Benchmarking the GCC 5G Experience" report analysed and compared the 5G experiences of users in different GCC countries based on the quality of mobile video streaming, mobile multiplayer gaming, voice application connectivity, availability and speed.

The report described the availability of the 5G network (the time that users spend in an active connection with 5G) in Saudi Arabia as “outstanding,” as the Kingdom recorded an availability rate of 28.2%, notwithstanding the fact that it is the largest market in the region geographically and in terms of its population.

The report indicated that although Saudi Arabia ranked third in terms of the availability of the 5G network, its score is only a few percentage points behind Bahrain (34.9%) and Kuwait (33.6%). These countries are followed by Qatar (16.9%), the UAE (15.3%) and Oman (13.9 %).

The UAE topped the GCC countries in 5G download speeds, as users achieved average speeds of 316.8 Mbit/s, followed by Qatar with 278.5 Mbit/s, and Kuwait with 263.4 Mbit/s.The same three countries also topped the list of download speeds in terms of the peak rate. The UAE scored 743.3 Mbit/s, Qatar 713.4 Mbit/s, and Kuwait 663.7 Mbit/s. As for Saudi Arabia and Oman, the difference was closer to three times as fast — the ratio between 5G peak and average speeds was 2.7 times.

According to the report, the results for 5G upload speed were considerably slower than the 5G download speed. Average 5G upload speeds were approximately one-tenth the speed of users’ average 5G download speeds because the designers of these initial versions of 5G technologies focused on the download connection, the report stated.

Regarding the 5G video experience, Kuwait was the only country in which users had an excellent experience (75 points or higher on a 100-point scale), while the UAE topped the download speed list, but its score fell behind Kuwait in video experience at 72.4 points, and Qatar came in second place, despite the decrease in mobile video streaming, with 68.6 points.

In the category of gaming experience via 5G, the UAE ranked first with 74 points, ahead of Qatar with 69.6 points, Bahrain with 69.6 points, and Kuwait with 67.4 points.

The multiplayer gaming experience was measured and tested on the most popular games such as PUBG, Fortnite, and the massive online battlefield Arena of Valor, as well as popular sports games such as Pro Evolution Soccer.

As for the experience of 5G in voice applications, such as WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger and Facetime, there was only a slight difference among the six countries, with Qatar topping the rankings with 80.6 points, 3.2 points ahead of the rest of the Gulf markets.OpenSignal reported a huge difference in the speeds users experienced using 5G compared with older 4G technology in all six markets. The average 5G download speed was between 8.6 and 5.6 times faster. The report also noted a large jump in the 5G video experience with 5G connectivity boosting the mobile video streaming experience by 45% and 24%.

"These stark differences highlight the importance of helping users to connect to 5G as often as possible so they can enjoy this better experience," the report said.

 OpenSignal is a global leader in the analysis and evaluation of mobile networks, and its reports are considered of great significance in telecommunications sectors around the world.


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