3g-end of life: what does it mean for webpagetest, Lighthouse and Core Web Vitals

In 2021 3g will be shut down in Germany. However, the main testing environment of Lighthouse is 3Gfast, and for compatibility purposes we run WPT tests in 3Gfast too.

What means 3g shutdown for us in terms of Core Web Vitals metrics? They are in fact a product of Lighthouse. Positive thinking says - metrics will rise. But something says me - this is not so simple…

Core Web Vitals (CWV) scores are taken directly from the CrUX “real world” data. And CrUX only gathers data from Chrome browsers (Desktops and Android phones).

So shutting down 3G in Germany will only have a major effect on your own CWV if…

  1. the vast majority of your visitors are in Germany, AND
  2. The vast majority are using Chrome or Android devices.

Check your Google Analytics…

  • See where your visitors are located? In Germany, or from distant countries with weak 3G or even 2G service?
  • See what devices they are using? Androids or iPhones or cheap-phones? Remember that only the Android phones will count towards your Core Web Vitals score.

My site serves the US and most of my mobile visitors are on fast iPhones - but they don’t count towards my score :@

100% of visitors are in Germany, and Chrome takes 50% of both desktop and mobile browser markt. So, yes, it should have a huge effect.