Telus, Bell beat out Rogers for best mobile video experience: report

Canadians obsessed with devouring YouTube clips and Instagram videos over their phones may wish to consider who’s providing them wireless services.

Bell Mobility Inc. and Vancouver-based Telus Corporation (TSX: T) offer the best mobile video experience in the country, according to an Oct. 30 report from U.K.-based mobile analytics company OpenSignal.

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The telecom giants were statistically tied for first place in the Canadian rankings with scores of 61.4/100 and 61.9/100 and for Bell and Telus, respectively.

The scores fall into OpenSignal’s “good” category, indicating videos streamed from the Internet to a phone or tablet renders at low and high resolutions but exhibits longer loading times before playback begins as well as some stalling at high-definition resolutions.

Rogers Wireless Inc. also landed a “good” score, but fell a few points short at 57.9/100.

“Canada's operators are all offering a comparably reliable video experience, though Telus and Bell definitely have an edge,” OpenSignal lead analyst Kevin Fitchard wrote in his report.

“So what distinguishes Bell and Telus from Rogers in our video experience analysis? The obvious answer would seem to be network speed.”

Fitchard pointed to OpenSignal’s August 2018 report on the state of Canadian wireless carriers, noting that Bell’s and Telus’ overall download speeds were at least nine megabits per second (Mbps) faster than Rogers’.

“In Canada's case, speeds across all of the operators have gotten fast enough that even a huge advantage in average throughput only produces a minimal increase in video experience. What we're likely seeing is a bunch of other factors in play,” Fitchard wrote.

“Network latency is a big one, as the faster a request makes its way to the server and returns content to the device, the sooner the video begins playing. In our Canada report, we found that Bell and Telus had average 4G latencies at least 6ms (six milliseconds) lower than Rogers.”

torton@biv.com

@reporton

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