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Mobile performance is increasingly better than wifi – OpenSignal

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Mobile analytics company OpenSignal has had a look mobile and wifi performance around the world and concluded wifi is losing its crown.

In 33 countries, according to the report, smartphone users get faster average download speeds from their mobile network than from wifi. The country with the greatest discrepancy in favour of mobile is Australia, where average speeds are 13 Mbps faster than wifi. In most countries the respective data rates seem to be pretty similar but wifi still prevails in some, including the US where it’s still 25 Mbps faster, on average.

You can see all the data in the table below and the significance of it to OpenSignal is that wifi is no longer always preferable to mobile, when it’s available. A decade ago mobile data was just a slop, expensive stopgap in between wifi hotspots for when we absolutely had to get online to check the football scores, or whatever.

Now the only reason to prefer wifi in a lot of countries is that its unmetered, but that is likely be less of a factor in the 5G era, with unlimited tariffs likely to proliferate. For that reason OpenSignal reckons operators and smartphone makers will need to have a rethink about mobile offload, to avoid prioritising lower-performance networks.

Opensignal wifi vs cellular

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2 comments

  1. Claus Hetting 26/11/2018 @ 9:51 am

    The report is flawed and the conclusions – including this news headline – are flat our false. In nearly every country that reasonably represents a developed market, Wi-Fi is substantially and irrefutably faster. This is fact and easy to prove for example with data from Netradar and elsewhere.

  2. Bobby Vassallo 29/11/2018 @ 10:39 pm

    When Australia is used as the example, and your mate’s WiFi is dependent on the available internet provided to blow through it, you see the problem. With Australia’s “dial-up” speeds to broadcast through WiFi, it all fails. This report is comical, at best. 5G will be no better than the amount of internet you can blow through the 5G device. In the case of rural America, it will be an improvement, most likely. But, apples to apples, with equal internet throughput, WiFi will outperform, as 5G will have inherent limits on throughput. We can not know what those are yet, because no one has seen them yet. I’ll hold my breath.

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