Mobile network benchmarking

Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (RATEL) is responsible for the implementation of the national strategy and policies in the field of electronic communications and postal services in the Republic of Serbia. It also seeks to ensure the highest quality of service standards, by enforcing country-wide coverage of mobile services and their continuous performance improvement.

RATEL’s strategy is to encourage further investments and development of telecommunications markets by fostering competition, cost-effectiveness and efficiency in mobile communications, as well as to provide fair and unbiased information about the quality of service in the mobile networks in the Republic of Serbia to the subscribers. Therefore, as of 2017, RATEL has been carrying out extensive benchmarking tests of the three mobile network operators: A1 Srbija, Telekom Srbija and Yettel. This is the seventh year in a row that RATEL has performed nationwide benchmarking.

The purpose of Mobile Network Benchmarking is to compare in an objective fashion the quality of mobile network services by measuring Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which represent user experience with services offered by all mobile network operators. The benchmarking measurements were conducted in September, October, and November 2023. In the first half of 2022, RATEL conducted a public international tender for Mobile Network Benchmarking activity and awarded the contract to a consortium comprised of CRONY, a Serbian company specialized in the representation of foreign companies in Serbia, and Systemics-PAB, a renowned service company from Poland. The contract included two years of countrywide benchmark service of Serbian mobile networks operators.

Systemics-PAB is a well-recognized company offering benchmarking services to regulatory authorities and network operators worldwide. They provide solutions and services to measure, monitor and analyse the quality of mobile and fixed networks, with the aim to enhance the end-user experience. The experience that Systemics-PAB gained during more than 17 years of working in this area, has enabled them to develop effective techniques and methodologies for conducting benchmark activities, and all their tests, measurements and processes are ISO 9001 certified, which ensures impartiality and reliability of the results.

For the third time in the history of this project, the rating and benchmarking of the mobile services is performed by using ETSI methodology described in ETSI TR 103 559 Annex A document. This international standard allows for an objective assessment of the quality of service and user experience for each mobile network operator.

Benchmarking measurements covered 55 cities/towns, almost 17,000 km of Serbian roads and over 1600 km of railways in both directions. During the campaign, over 9000 voice calls and 7000 of all data service tests were performed for each mobile network operator across all technologies (2G, 3G, 4G). These measurements included:

  • Measurement of KPIs for voice and data services, messaging
  • Measurement of radio parameters for 2G / 3G / 4G technologies.

The whole benchmarking campaign was divided into phases as presented in Figure 1.

Fig.1 Benchmarking campaign phases
Fig.1 Benchmarking campaign phases

In parallel with the analysis and reporting, the dedicated portal has been updated with new results, making the latest benchmarking results publicly available on RATEL’s web page. The portal has also been upgraded with new features.

Market overview


In 2022, the largest share in total revenues of 61.3% in the Serbian electronic communications market, as in previous years, was achieved by providing mobile telephony services. (Source: An overview of the Telecom and Postal Services Market in the Republic of Serbia in 2022, RATEL).

The mobile market in Serbia, in terms of the number of subscribers, is divided among three mobile network operators (MNO) and one mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). The MVNO - Globatel has not been included in the scope of the benchmark activity since their mobile market revenue share in 2022 was approximately 0.14% and their share of mobile subscribers in Q3 2023 was approximately 1.31%. The mobile market shares in Serbia in 2022 in terms of revenues generated by the operators are presented in Figure 3. The respective shares of mobile subscribers for the three MNOs in Q3 2023 are presented in Figure 2.

Mobile subscribers

Fig. 2. Mobile subscribers
Source: Q3 2023 RATEL data, RATEL

Mobile Market revenue share

Fig. 3. Mobile market revenue share
Source: 2022 RATEL data, RATEL

The number of mobile subscribers in Serbia is approximately 8.62 million, which corresponds to 129.7% of SIM penetration in 2022. The voice users generated more than 5.12 billion minutes in Q3 2023. 840 million of subscribers were active mobile broadband subscribers generating over 277.4 million GB of data traffic in the Q3 2023.

Telekom Srbija - MTS is the mobile network operator with the biggest number of subscribers in Serbia. It was founded in 1997 and started to provide mobile communications service in 1998. Telekom Srbija operates its 4G network at 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz. Additionally, it operates a 3G network at 900 MHz and 2100 MHz and a 2G network at 900 MHz and 1800MHz. In 2019, Telekom Srbija started providing the VoLTE (Voice over LTE) service to its subscribers.

YETTEL has been present in Serbia since 2006 as Telenor. From March 2022, Telenor officially operates under the name of Yettel. Yettel operates its 4G network at 800 MHz and 1800 MHz, and partly at 2100 MHz. It operates its 3G network mainly at 900 MHz and 2100 MHz coverage, and its 2G network at 900 MHz and 1800 MHz. In 2020 Yettel started providing the VoLTE (Voice over LTE) service to its subscribers.

A1 Srbija, formerly operating under Vip mobile brand name, was established in 2006 and is a part of Telekom Austria Group. A1 Srbija offers 4G network at 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100MHz, 3G network at 2100 MHz and at 900 MHz, and 2G network at 900 MHz and 1800 MHz. In 2019 A1 Srbija started providing the VoLTE (Voice over LTE) service to its subscribers.

Telekom Srbija has the biggest number of locations with active base stations in Q3 2023, as presented in Figure 4. (Source: RATEL data for 2023, RATEL)

Total number of locations with active base stations, per operator, Q3 2019
Fig. 4. Total number of locations with active base stations, per operator, Q3 2023


A quarterly overview of the total number of locations with base stations per technology and mobile operator by Q3 2023, is presented in Figure 5.

Fig. 5. Total number of locations of base stations per technology and mobile operator until Q3 2023
(Source: RATEL data for Q4 2022, Q1 2023, Q2 2023, Q3 2023,