How’s the mobile performance at Mobile World Congress?

You might expect the world’s largest gathering of professionals in the mobile industry to have amazing mobile speeds. Then again, maybe not, since large gatherings can sap the bandwidth right out of a network. We took a look at the speeds at last year’s event to see what you might expect if you’re attending Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017.

Recapping 2016 performance

We isolated MWC 2016 speeds by geofencing Barcelona’s Fira Gran Via, where the conference was held, and analyzing a sample of Speedtest data from February 22–25, 2016, the dates of last year’s MWC. We then compared that data to the results from the entire city of Barcelona during the month of February 2016.

You can see that all carriers except Yoigo significantly exceeded average speeds for Barcelona at MWC 2016. So the mobile performance at MWC 2016 almost universally rocked.

The average download speed over Wi-Fi, on the other hand, was a paltry 14.62 Mbps.

We’re watching 2017 data

Of course the MWC crowd will put connectivity at Fira Gran Via to the test during the conference. Carriers will likely bring portable cell sites to offer fast coverage to the masses of mobile-savvy attendees. But we won’t know the actual speeds until the event begins and the Speedtest data starts rolling in.

  • Will the speeds be as fast as last year?
  • Will Orange come out on top for download speed again this year?
  • Will Vodafone offer the fastest uploads?

To find out, watch this space for daily Speedtest data and analysis during the conference, or follow us on Twitter.

As always, you can contribute to our data by taking a Speedtest at the event. And be sure to share your Speedtest results from #MWC17 with #CrowdSpeed on Twitter.

February 27, 2017

The first official day of MWC is just wrapping up and here’s what we saw for speeds at the event during the hours of 6am-7pm UTC:

  • Orange lives up to the first day excitement by knocking mobile download speed out of the park so far.
  • Vodafone and Yoigo are also significantly faster for downloads than they were last year.
  • Movistar is the only carrier whose download speed decreased compared to last year’s conference.
  • Upload speeds are mixed with Movistar and Orange posting strong increases while Vodafone and Yoigo’s download speeds decreased.

We’ll see how that all changes tomorrow…

February 28, 2017

Day two of MWC 2017 has wrapped up. Amidst all the device unveilings and amazing predictions for the future, we have news on whose mobile speeds are rocking the conference.

And the winner is… Orange!

  • For the second day in a row Orange has the fastest download speed. Though slower than yesterday, their download speed is still enviable.
  • Movistar’s downloads are significantly faster than yesterday and have almost caught up to Vodafone’s.
  • Vodafone’s download speed decreased slightly from yesterday, but is still fast enough to live-stream those keynotes.
  • Upload speeds are slower overall than yesterday, but in most cases you should have the performance you need for a video call back home.
  • Sadly, Yoigo’s download and upload speeds are already showing conference fatigue. Let’s hope they rally for tomorrow.

See you back here tomorrow for a recap of day three.

March 1, 2017

The mobile performance numbers are in for day three of MWC and we saw a huge shakeup overnight:

  • Vodafone has pulled way ahead of previous leader Orange for download speed since yesterday with a speed almost as fast as Orange’s day one showing.
  • Movistar has jumped into second place for downloads with now third place Orange ever so slightly behind.
  • Yoigo more than doubled their download speed from yesterday, but they’re still less than half as fast as Movistar and Orange.
  • Upload speeds are looking better than ever across the board with the three fastest carriers all coming in at better than 30 Mbps. Even Yoigo had their fastest day yet for uploads.

Tomorrow’s your last chance to help us gather data, so don’t forget to download those apps for Android or iOS and take a Speedtest. We’ll have day four results as well as averages from the conference as a whole at the end of the day tomorrow.

March 2, 2017

The final day of MWC 2017 saw the most dramatic shift in speeds of the whole conference:

  • Vodafone downloads came in at a lightning-quick 123.05 Mbps. Their uploads were also the fastest we’ve seen from any carrier during the conference.
  • Movistar’s download and upload speeds dipped way down from their prior strength.
  • Orange brought the stability with a download speed that was relatively close to yesterday’s performance, though their upload speed dipped a bit.
  • Meanwhile, there were no Yoigo tests at all.

MWC 2017 mobile performance as a whole

But what you really want to know is which carrier had the fastest speeds for the duration of the conference. The averages are in and…

  • Orange takes first place with a very impressive 97.36 Mbps average download over the four days.
  • Vodafone is a strong second for downloads and Movistar’s third place speed is still quite respectable.
  • If you’ve been watching these updates, it’s no surprise that Yoigo had the slowest speeds overall. That was also true last year, though their year-over-year improvement is solid.
  • Strangely, the upload speeds of the top three fastest carriers were nearly indistinguishable. That 25 Mbps or so is good news for anyone who’s sending masses of conference pics (or snapshots of Sagrada Familia, we won’t tell) back home.

That’s it for our Barcelona coverage this year. We hope your MWC experience was as amazing as some of these speeds. We’re going to go catch up on some sleep and we’ll be back with more analysis soon.