4G network speeds around the world have been highlighted in a new report by OpenSignal, which shows that 4G networks are spreading farther and achieving slightly speeds on the whole, but that there is great disparity around the world in terms of download speeds.
OpenSignal 4G report highlights speeds around the world
The research comes from OpenSignal, which collects data from more than 11 million mobile users (who have installed the company’s app) to get a picture of mobile networks around the world. As an example, in its February 2014 report, the US had average download speeds of just 6.5 megabits per second (Mbps), but this time around its increased slightly to 7 Mbps.
That’s lower than the company found in 2013 with 9.6 Mbps, but the issue here is that as more people use 4G, the speeds invariably decrease slightly until optimisations and better technologies can be rolled out.
It also turns out that last year in the US, subscribers spent 67% of their time on 4G networks, but this year the figure has increased to a more respectable 77%.
Here’s a chart that shows how average 4G LTE speeds compare with other technologies.
However, even despite amazing technical progress, download rates in the highest-ranked country, Spain (!), only reach 18 Mbps on average, compared to 4G’s maximum speed of 150 Mbps (that is a theoretical limit).
Spain comes out top for download speeds on 4G, but it’s not considered the overall winner, because coverage in Finland, Denmark and South Korea average 18 Mbps, but coverage is much better enabling customers to spend more time on 4G. South Korea has an impressive 95% (the best on the list), with Finland and Denmark at 65% and Spain at 52% of network time spent connected to 4G.
Today’s 4G networks (that use LTE or Long Term Evolution technology), are steadily becoming more widespread as mobile operators upgrade their equipment and consumers purchase newer phones, however you will still need wait years for better coverage everywhere, especially outside cities where 3G or 2G (or no coverage at all) are still common.