Voice and video 4G provision improves in Brazil

There have been significant advances in the experience local consumers get in mobile networks, a new Opensignal report has found.

The mobile network experience has seen "notable improvements" in Brazil, particularly in 4G metrics such as video and voice consumption, according to a new report.

The Mobile Network Experience Report by mobile analytics firm Opensignal has found that the introduction of 4G on the 700 MHz spectrum band in Brazil is having a big impact in the last six months, with users on networks that have implemented it spending more time on 4G and enjoying faster average download speeds.

According to the report, this is having a positive impact on video and voice app experience for services like WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger over mobile networks, as upload and latency measurements have also improved.

The report analyzed the experience across the 36 largest cities in Brazil between September and November 2019 for the services provided by the four main telecom providers in Brazil: Telefonica's Vivo, Telecom Italia's TIM, América Móvil's Claro and Oi.

On voice experience, the report noted that the omnipresent nature of mobile data networks across Latin America has made the use of voice apps increasingly popular among smartphone users in Brazil.

"These apps are changing the way billions of people communicate with each other around the world, and their performance contributes to customers' overall satisfaction with their network provider," it added.

The report's ranking based on consumer confidence positioned Claro as the leader for voice app experience, with a score of 79.9 points, which positions the services as "acceptable". However, the company was less than a point shy from earning a "good" rating.

On voice experience on mobile, TIM and Vivo scored 75.1 and 74.5 points respectively, putting all three operators in the "acceptable" rating bracket. Meanwhile, Oi earned a "poor" rating, with users reporting significant call impairments.

When it comes to video, the experience has also improved steadily in the last semester, according to the Opensignal research, with users on three out of four networks in Brazil experiencing shorter load times and less frequent interruptions when streaming video on their smartphones.

On video performance by mobile provider, the report ranks Claro as the leader with a "good" score of 61.6 points, followed by TIM and Vivo with 59.8 and 59.3 points within the same score range. Oi had a "fair" rating for voice with a score of 50.2 points.

Claro was also the leader of the 4G download and upload speed experience, according to the report, while TIM has the edge when it comes to latency measurements, as well as 4G availability and coverage.

According to the report, there is a "two-horse race" developing between Claro and TIM regarding experience. It also predicted a steady improvement in the experience consumers receive on mobile networks in the months to come, with 5G in the horizon.

"With the upcoming auction of 5G licenses - including more spectrum in the 700 MHz band - we expect the mobile network experience to continue to improve as the market matures," the report noted.