Thailands Mobile Network Experience Report, November 2019

Information Technology Press Releases Thursday November 7, 2019 11:16
Bangkok--7 Nov--PC & Associates Consulting
by Peter Boyland Senior Analyst & David NedescuTechnical Analyst

The mobile network experience in Thailand is improving. In this report, based on data from the 90 days from the start of July, we've seen 4G Availability in the country continue to grow — passing the 90% milestone for one operator, while the others aren't far behind. And our users on all three operators' networks are seeing improvements across their Video, Latency, Download and Upload Speed Experience. TrueMove H continues to dominate our awards table — but AIS also deserves recognition for some of the best increases in its scores. (Click here for a Thai language version of this report.)

In this report, we've analyzed the mobile network experience for all three of Thailand's national operators — AIS, DTAC and TrueMove H — across all of our award metrics, including our unique, first-of-its-kind Voice App Experience. Alongside the national analysis, we've also measured our users' experience in 12 of the country's biggest regions to see how they match up.

National Analysis
4G Availability

Thailand's impressive 4G Availability scores continue to improve. AIS kept our award, and has become the first operator in the country to score over 90% 4G Availability at the national level. But our users on all three of Thailand's operators saw their scores increase by close to 3 percentage points, meaning that both DTAC and TrueMove H are now tantalizingly close to the 90% milestone.

The continuing growth in our users' 4G Availability scores means we now fully expect all three of Thailand's operators to pass the 90% mark in our next report. This is highly impressive, since we only saw 15 countries with average 4G Availability scores over this mark in our latest global State of Mobile Network Experience report — and these countries were almost all arguably more developed 4G markets such as South Korea, Japan and Singapore. But despite Thailand's impressive 4G Availability, the country still has some way to go to match its peers in some of our other metrics.

Video Experience

In Video Experience, our users on TrueMove H saw their score improve by close to 5 points (on a scale of 0-100), not only bringing them closer to a Good ranking (55-65), but also breaking the deadlock with DTAC, as TrueMove H pulled ahead to win our award following a tie in our last report. Our users on all three operators saw their Video Experience improve: DTAC increased its score by 1.3 points, but third-placed AIS managed the most impressive leap of 6.2 points — bringing it within 5 points of its closest rival.

The improvement in our AIS users' score sees all three of Thailand's operators now in our Fair rating category (40-55), meaning their Video Experience on mobile devices may be just about acceptable at lower resolutions, but higher resolutions may be practically unwatchable with slow loading times and frequent stalling. However, these scores are improving — and our users on TrueMove H are now enjoying a Good rating in our 4G-only Video Experience measurements, meaning video streams well at low resolutions, and even the experience at higher resolutions is an improvement over its rivals.

Voice App Experience

In this report, we take our first look at Voice App Experience in Thailand. This unique, first-of-its-kind metric measures the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — mobile voice apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger — using a model derived from the International Telecommunication Union for quantifying overall voice call quality with a series of calibrated technical parameters.

In Thailand, we saw both DTAC and AIS landing in our Acceptable Voice App Experience ranking (in a range of 74-80 out of 100). This means our users on these networks are generally satisfied and able to comprehend calls without repetition, but there may be perceptible quality impairments such as short clicking sounds or distortion. TrueMove H was only lagging behind DTAC by 1.9 points, but nevertheless landed in our Poor ranking (66-74), meaning our users will likely suffer from increased distortion and clicking, while call volume may not be acceptable.

Interestingly, our users' scores for 3G-only Voice App Experience were fairly close to those on Thailand's 4G networks, being at most 10 points behind their 4G score. And the difference between 4G and overall Voice App Experience is around 2 points for all three operators, reflecting the high and increasing levels of 4G Availability in Thailand.

Download Speed Experience

Thailand is punching above its weight in 4G Availability and Voice App Experience — but unfortunately the same can't be said of our users' speed experience. In our latest global report, the country was firmly in the bottom quarter of our tables for both Download and Upload Speed Experience. But the good news is, we're seeing these scores moving in the right direction.

In this report, our users on both DTAC and TrueMove H saw their Download Speed Experience scores increase by around 1 Mbps — but TrueMove H's slightly greater increase was enough to force a tie for the award, following a win by DTAC in our last report. However it was our users on AIS that saw the biggest leap in speed, as their score grew by over 2 Mbps. The operator is still firmly in third place, but has narrowed the gap to within 2 Mbps of its rivals.

Upload Speed Experience

TrueMove H kept its strong lead in Upload Speed Experience, with our users seeing a slight increase in their scores — meaning the operator remains 2 Mbps ahead of its rivals. However, another impressive sprint by AIS of nearly 1.6 Mbps has closed the gap on the leader. Our users on DTAC meanwhile saw only an incremental increase in their Upload Speed Experience, and the operator has now drifted into a pretty distant third place.

The picture was worse for DTAC in our 4G-only Upload Speed Experience measurements, as the operator actually saw a small decrease in its score — as did TrueMove H. These speed drops could be related to increases in 4G Availability, as more of our users are able to spend more time on these networks, which in turn will likely increase congestion. Meanwhile, AIS saw the only significant increase in 4G Upload Speed, of nearly 1.6 Mbps to push DTAC into last place.

Latency Experience

The picture is brighter for our Thailand users in our analysis of latency. All three national operators improved their Latency Experience scores in the past six months, by at least 4.5 milliseconds (or 11%) each. TrueMove H kept our award with its score now under the 40ms mark — on par with many much more mature mobile markets in Europe and Asia — while DTAC and AIS now both score faster than 45ms.

Latency is an often overlooked metric as the benefits of a low latency connection aren't as obvious as fast speeds or wide-ranging availability. But being a measure of a network's response time, latency affects the consumer mobile experience in many subtle ways. Lower latency connections mean webpages and videos begin loading faster and real-time communications apps experience less lag.

Regional Analysis

In our analysis of 12 of Thailand's wealthiest provinces, we continue to see very impressive 4G Availability, with our users in seven regions able to connect to all three operators' 4G networks over 90% of the time. But AIS took these scores to another level, with our users able to enjoy 4G Availability over 95% of the time in five provinces, including 96.4% in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya — a hugely impressive score on a par with some of the most mature mobile markets.

AIS dominated the 12 regions we analyzed in 4G Availability, winning in eight and drawing in the remaining four. But things were much closer in our Download Speed Experience measurements, where in nine of the 12 regions we saw a tie. AIS won our award in Bangkok, but the capital was the only region where all our users on all three operators' networks saw scores over the 10 Mbps milestone.

TrueMove H won the lion's share of our Upload Speed Experience awards, while the operator deserves a special mention in three regions — Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani — for scoring better than 30ms in Latency Experience.

Select any region below to display individual breakdown click to see at
https://www.opensignal.com/th/reports/2019/11/uk/mobile-network-experience
About Opensignal

Opensignal is a mobile analytics company. It's the independent global standard for understanding the true state of the world's mobile networks based on measurements of real user experience. Opensignal's industry reports are the definitive guide to the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks, and it independently measure this across every major network operator around the globe.


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