4G fastest tech but speeds still lag, disparity across LTE networks – report

UK-based network diagnostics company OpenSignal has published its State of LTE report showing significant disparity in LTE services across the world’s markets. While faster than any other mobile network technology, the report claimed, 4G is still not achieving the speeds initially promised.

OpenSignal operates on a crowdsource model with all of its data collected from mobile users who have downloaded its app. The latest report is based on 11 million individual’s 4G data between November 2014 and January 2015, with download speed and time spent on an LTE network the key metrics to have been analysed.

According to the report, Spain has the fastest LTE network of all countries with an average speed of 18Mbps, while Vodafone Spain had the fastest network of all operators achieving 25.5Mbps. However, Spain’s overall LTE coverage only came to 52%. With 99% South Korea’s LG U+ had the best LTE coverage of any operator, and hardly surprisingly its home country had the best overall LTE coverage with users able to connect 95% of the time.

Three UK was shown to provide the lowest time on LTE of all networks, and the time on LTE across the country was only 42%, while the US achieved 77% of the time. In terms of speeds, though, it was a different story for the US as it only had 7Mbps on average placing it fourth slowest. UK fared a bit better with 12Mbps. With 3Mbps Saudi Arabia was had the slowest speeds of all countries.

Comparing different technologies, the report results showed 4G to be the fastest with average download speed of 9.3Mbps compared to 1.5Mbps for 3G and 4.4Mbps for wifi. However, OpenSignal said it is important to remember the variation in different countries, making this only a relative comparison of the current state of the different technologies.

The report concluded so far LTE is available in 124 countries with 18 more having network roll-out schedules in place, largely planned for this year. It said this time last year only 76 countries had LTE services.

OpenSignal report graph 1

Source: OpenSignal State of LTE report

OpenSignal report graph 2

Source: OpenSignal State of LTE report

OpenSignal report graph 3

Source: OpenSignal State of LTE report

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