With smartphones reaching the four corners of the world, the most important question that a smartphone user has is his/her mobile Internet speed. Without good fast data speed, any smartphone no matter how best it is or how expensive it is, is pretty useless. So let’s find out which country leads the pack of fastest data speed for smartphones.
South Korea, clinched the top spot for having the world’s fastest LTE network, according to a recent survey conducted by wireless coverage mapping company, OpenSignal.
The company’s latest Global State of Mobile Networks report, which covers network performance of 87 countries globally, showed that South Korea again came out on top in terms of cellular network data speeds, with the U.S. staggering at one-third the speed.
South Korea was ranked first, with their mobile customers experiencing average network speeds of 37.54 Mbps (megabits per second) overall speeds – calculated on the average mobile data connection based on speeds and availability of 3G and 4G networks — followed by Norway with 34.77 Mbps, Hungary with 31.04 Mbps, and Singapore with 30 Mbps, a cut-off that OpenSignal calls “a high bar to achieve, as it requires not only having powerful LTE networks but also extremely high access to those 4G connections.”.
Though with an average speed of 45Mbps, South Korea along with Singapore topped OpenSignal’s previous network testing.
The number of countries breaking the 20 Mbps mobile network speed threshold or faster connections increased from nine in the last survey to 13, according to OpenSignal.
“Those top performers have largely remained the same, dominated by South Korea, Singapore, Japan, and Australia in the east and a handful of northern and eastern European countries in the west. The only country on another continent to break the 20 Mbps barrier in our tests was Canada,” wrote the company.
In terms of North America, Canada was No. 12 on the list with an average speed of 20.26 Mbps, and among the Asian countries, Taiwan trailed behind Japan which had an overall mobile network speed connection of 21.79 Mbps.
The United States was No. 36 at 12.48 Mbps and Mexico was No. 49 with an average speed of 9.91 Mbps. For the U.S., the latest results were down from the 13.03 Mbps speeds recorded in the previous testing period.
OpenSignal provided the test numbers based on data recorded from smartphones that had downloaded the OpenSignal application and run over a three-month period starting last November. The company used more than 19.2 billion data points from nearly 1.1 million users in 87 countries. It tracks network quality whether they are inside or outside, in a city or rural area, so their numbers “represent performance the way users experience it,” the company says.
“For our Global State of Mobile Networks report, OpenSignal looked not at 4G or 3G speed individually, but rather at the aggregate speed our users experienced across all of a country’s mobile data networks,” the company explained. “We feel that measurement paints a more holistic picture of the typical mobile data experience as it factors in not only the performance of different types of networks, but the amount of access customers have to each of them.”
Users in the Netherlands spent the most amount of time connected to Wi-Fi networks rather than cellular networks, at 68.53 percent of the time, followed by China, at 65.42 percent of the time; Germany, at 61.44 percent; Canada, at 60.65 percent; and Belgium rounding out the top five, on 59.57 percent.
Australian mobile users were connected to Wi-Fi networks just 46.35 percent of the time, placing it 53rd in the category, while New Zealanders were connected 55.86 percent of the time, at 13th place.
“While 4G continues to extend its reach and speed across the globe, Wi-Fi’s importance as a mobile data technology hasn’t waned,” OpenSignal said.
“We see a high proportion of time spent on Wi-Fi in the majority of the 96 countries we analysed. Specifically, 38 of those countries had time on Wi-Fi scores of 50 percent or greater, meaning in a large part of the world, our users are spending as much time connected to Wi-Fi networks as they are to cellular networks.
“Rather than acting as a mere supplement to 4G networks, Wi-Fi remains as important a technology as any cellular system in mobile communications.”
Last month, OpenSignal released more detailed U.S. numbers, with Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US easily outperforming rivals AT&T Mobility and Sprint. In terms of average LTE download speeds, the testing found a near statistical tie between Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile US, with both carriers coming in at just below 17 Mbps.
However, T-Mobile US surged ahead with its HSPA-based network notching 4 Mbps in average download speeds compared with just 850 kilobits per second from Verizon Wireless’ CDMA2000 1x EV-DO 3G network when it took into account 3G network performance.
In terms of LTE network speeds in the latest test, AT&T Mobility came in at No. 3 with the carrier posting an average download speed of 13.86 Mbps, while its HSPA-based 3G network was No. 2 with a speed of 3.04 Mbps. Sprint was a distant No. 4 in LTE network speed at 8.99 Mbps and a little ahead of Verizon Wireless in 3G network speeds at 970 kbps.
Once again, Verizon Wireless came out on top of the reports LTE rankings with the application showing LTE network availability at 88.17%, in terms of what OpenSignal calls “network availability.” T-Mobile U.S. was a close second at 86.6%, followed by AT&T Mobility at 82.23% and Sprint a distant No. 4 at 76.81%.
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