State of Mobile Networks: Argentina (December 2017)

It’s been three years since Argentina’s first LTE network launched, and our latest report on the country’s mobile networks indicate a market making good progress. Our tests highlight overall improvements in the consumer mobile data experience due to widespread 4G signal availability, but 4G download speeds were still slow. In this report, OpenSignal drew on 682 million measurements to compare the 3G and 4G services offered by Argentina's three nationwide mobile providers.

Report Facts

682,159,130
Measurements
39,053
Test Devices
2017-08-01 - 2017-10-31
Sample Period
Argentina
Report Location

Highlights

Personal stands out

Personal won four of our six metrics outright: 4G availability, 4G download speed, 4G latency and overall speed, giving it the edge in LTE over its two rivals. This applied to both its nationwide results and in our regional analysis of Buenos Aires.

4G availability improves for all

Our test results showed that all three operators have made significant improvements in LTE reach in the last six months. Personal saw the biggest boost, increasing its availability score by 10 percentage points. This allowed Personal to overtake Movistar to win this metric.

4G speeds remain slow across the board

Although our tests showed both Claro and Movistar have increased their 4G speeds slightly over the last six months, all three operators’ 4G download speeds remained poor, falling below the global LTE download average of 16.6 Mbps.. Personal held onto its lead in 4G speed, but its average download actually fell by more than 1Mbps in our latest tests.

LTE availability compares well in Latin America

Though Argentina was late to 4G, it has made up a lot of lost ground in its 4G rollout. Argentine consumers were able to find a 4G signal more than 70% of the time, giving the country better LTE availability then many of its South American neighbors, including Chile, Colombia and Brazil.

Awards Table

Download Speed: 4G Download Speed: 3G Download Speed: Overall Latency: 4G Latency: 3G Availability: 4G

Claro

Movistar

medal medal

Personal

medal medal medal medal medal medal

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Performance by Metric

Download Speed: 4G

This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users.

Download Speed: 3G

This metric shows the average download speed for each operator on 3G connections as measured by OpenSignal users.

Download Speed: Overall

This metric shows the average download speed experienced by OpenSignal users across all of an operator's 3G and 4G networks. Overall speed doesn't just factor in 3G and LTE speeds, but also the availability of each network technology. Operators with lower LTE availability tend to have lower overall speeds because their customers spend more time connected to slower 3G networks.

Latency: 4G

This metric shows the average latency for each operator on LTE connections as measured by OpenSignal users. Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.

Latency: 3G

This metric shows the average latency for each operator on 3G connections as measured by OpenSignal users. Latency, measured in milliseconds, is the delay data experiences as it makes a round trip through the network. A lower score in this metric is a sign of a more responsive network.

Availability: 4G

This metric shows the proportion of time OpenSignal users have an LTE connection available to them on each operator’s network. It's a measure of how often users can access a 4G network rather than a measure of geographic or population coverage.

Regional Performance

This chart shows the regional winners in each category OpenSignal measures. Click on the icons to see a more detailed graph showing each operator’s metrics in a particular region.

Legend: Claro Movistar Personal
Region Download Speed: 4G Download Speed: 3G Download Speed: Overall Latency: 4G Latency: 3G Availability: 4G
Buenos Aires

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Analysis

Argentina's 4G market has made steady progress since Movistar launched the country's LTE network three years ago. Our latest results show that 4G signals are becoming more and more plentiful, expanding access to mobile broadband across the country. But as is the pattern in all of our reports of Argentina, 4G speeds are still among the slowest in the region and the slowest in the world.

OpenSignal collected 682 million measurements from more than 39,000 devices across Argentina between August and October of 2017. We used that data to compare the 3G and 4G connections of the South American nation's three nationwide operators: América Móvil's Claro, Telefónica's Movistar and Telecom Argentina's Personal. In addition to reporting national results, we also explored 4G performance in Argentina's capital and largest city, Buenos Aires.

Personal's big wins

Though we saw movement in many of our metrics across all three operators, Personal continues to set itself apart in our data. Personal won or drew for first place in all six of our 3G and 4G categories, as it did in our last report published in May. But while Personal may have dominated OpenSignal's awards chart, it certainly wasn't the only operator to improve in our results.

Our 4G availability tests showed all three operators have made significant LTE availability improvements since our May report. In first place, Personal was able to provide a 4G connection to our users 79.2% of the time, which is a 10 percentage point improvement in just six months. In May, we found that Personal and Movistar were neck and neck in 4G availability, but Personal clearly pulled into the lead in our latest tests. Movistar nonetheless saw its LTE availability improve between reports, increasing from 70.5% to 76.1%. Even last-paced Claro’s 61.9% availability score was a significant 8 percentage point improvement over its May results.

In 4G speed, Personal was again the clear winner with an average LTE download of 15.8 Mbps, which was a full 5 Mbps ahead of its competitors. While Personal held onto its speed crown, the gap between it and its rivals is definitely shrinking. Our tests show both Claro and Movistar's average 4G speed bumped up slightly in the last six months, while Personal's average 4G speed dropped by more than a megabit.

In 3G speed, we recorded a statistical for first place between Personal and Movistar, with both averaging HSPA downloads just over 3.6 Mbps. OpenSignal's final speed category, overall speed, factors in both 3G and 4G download speeds as well as the availability of each type of connection. Personal won overall speed with an average download of 10.3 Mbps in our tests, followed by Movistar (7.4 Mbps) and then Clario (6.6 Mbps).

In our 4G latency metric, which measures the delay data experiences as it makes a round-trip through the network, all three operators showed improvements over their test results of six months ago. Personal users experienced the lowest latency of 54.8ms in our results. Meanwhile, Personal and Movistar were tied for our 3G latency award.

A closer look at the capital

As it did across the country, Personal led the pack in LTE reach in Buenos Aires. In 4G availability, it provided users in the capital with an LTE signal an impressive 82.6% of the time, but all three operators saw improvements over their national availability scores in Argentina's largest city with Claro demonstrating the biggest gains. In Buenos Aires our Claro testers were able to find an LTE signal 69.8% of the time, compared to 61.9% of the time nationally.

While 4G availability was far better in Buenos Aires, LTE speeds in the capital were roughly consistent with our national results. But faster 3G speeds and more widespread access to LTE connections meant overall speeds were faster in the capital than in the country overall.

When we compare Argentina to the rest of the world and its Latin American peers, we found that the country has some catching up to do, particularly in LTE speed. Argentina's average 4G download connection was 11.8 Mbps, which is well below the global average of 16.6 Mbps measured in our latest State of LTE report. In a recent analysis of seven Latin American countries we found that Argentina's were among the slowest in the region, behind Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico. In 4G availability, though, Argentina fared much better compared to its neighbors. In that same seven-country analysis, only Mexico and Peru were able to provide an LTE connection to users more often.

Our Methodology

OpenSignal measures the real-world experience of consumers on mobile networks as they go about their daily lives. We collect 3 billion individual measurements every day from tens of millions of smartphones worldwide.

Our measurements are collected at all hours of the day, every day of the year, under conditions of normal usage, including inside buildings and outdoors, in cities and the countryside, and everywhere in between. By analyzing on-device measurements recorded in the places where subscribers actually live, work and travel, we report on mobile network service the way users truly experience it.

We continually adapt our methodology to best represent the changing experience of consumers on mobile networks and, therefore, comparisons of the results to past reports should be considered indicative only. For more information on how we collect and analyze our data, see our methodology page.

For this particular report, 682,159,130 datapoints were collected from 39,053 users during the period: 2017-08-01 - 2017-10-31.

For every metric we've calculated statistical confidence intervals and plotted them on all of the graphs. When confidence intervals overlap for a certain metric, our measured results are too close to declare a winner in a particular category. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple operator winners.

©2017 OpenSignal, Inc. All rights reserved.

OpenSignal, Inc retains ownership of this report including all intellectual property rights, data, content, graphs & analysis. Reports produced by OpenSignal, Inc may not be quoted, reproduced, distributed, published for any commercial purpose (including use in advertisements or other promotional content) without prior written consent.

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