Verizon comes out top in US mobile video quality survey

18 October 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Verizon is ahead of its US rivals in delivering mobile video quality, with AT&T at the bottom of the table of the top four, according to a new report.

Mobile analytics company OpenSignal says that mobile users on Verizon’s network had a video experience score of 50.57, with AT&T a long way behind with 40.88.

Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile US was in second position, with 48.15, but SoftBank’s Sprint was just above AT&T, in third position at 41.10.

OpenSignal uses data gathered via apps on users’ own mobiles to gauge video experience – with 100 million smartphones sending in three billion measurements a day.

“The quality of mobile video experience enjoyed by smartphone users is incredibly important to all the US operators because of their wider TV and video strategies,” said Ian Fogg, vice president for analysis at OpenSignal.

All four operators were within the analysis company’s fair category of its ratings. Fogg said: “A fair score means a mobile connection that’s able to handle low-resolution video with few problems, but may struggle to support high-resolution video without prolonged stalling and long wait times.”

He added: “The quality of mobile video experience is incredibly important to all the US operators because their wider TV and video strategies often include bundled video content and subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, etc.”

Fogg warned: “But none of the operators were even close to achieving a perfect score, and the challenge now is to find a way to deliver large quantities of mobile video to their customers at a good enough quality level.”

The challenge for the operators, he added, is that all of them are marketing mobile video extensively which increases consumer demand for mobile video. “The operators must then find a way to deliver large quantities of mobile video to their customers’ smartphones at a good-enough quality level. If they fail, and the mobile video experience is too poor, then customer satisfaction will drop and their customers will look elsewhere for mobile service,” said Fogg.

“This is an extremely tricky problem which is why US operators manage their traffic. They’re trying to balance out the competing demands on their networks.”