Telecoms shift focus to 4G availability from 4G speed: OpenSignal

OpenSignal report on speed and technology
The latest OpenSignal report reveals that global telecom operators have started focusing on improving 4G availability rather than enhancing 4G speed.

4G availability is not about the 4G coverage in your country. 4G availability means the number of instances when a customer can connect to a 4G network.

4G availability scores reached above 70 percent in 50 countries of the 77 countries that OpenSignal track compared to 33 countries six months ago.

“That means 4G users in those 50 countries were able to latch onto an LTE signal in more than 7 our every 10 attempts. It’s a sign that 4G has reached maturity in many more countries,” OpenSignal said.

OpenSignal said 4G speeds have stalled in the top-performing telecom markets. The average 4G download speed has increased to 16.6 Mbps from 16.2 Mbps in the last six months.

Asia

Telecom operators in India offer 6.13 Mbps 4G speed and 84.03 percent 4G availability. Indian 4G telecom market is dominated by Reliance Jio. Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, BSNL and Vodafone are the other key 4G operators.

Thailand based telecom operators offer 9.4 Mbps 4G speed and 77.35 percent 4G availability.

Japan offers 25.12 Mbps 4G speed and 94.11 percent 4G availability.

South Korea offers 45.85 Mbps 4G speed and 96.96 percent 4G availability.

Singapore offers 46.64 Mbps 4G speed and 84.56 percent 4G availability.

Indonesia offers 9.02 Mbps 4G speed and 72.44 percent 4G availability.

Malaysia offers 14.17 Mbps 4G speed and 71.97 percent 4G availability.

Europe

Italy offers 25.48 Mbps 4G speed and 63.3 percent 4G availability.

France offers 22.66 Mbps 4G speed and 62.51 percent 4G availability.

Germany offers 19.29 Mbps 4G speed and 57.52 percent 4G availability.

Sweden offers 24.58 Mbps 4G speed and 83.92 percent 4G availability.

Switzerland offers 29.62 Mbps 4G speed and 80.42 percent 4G availability.

The Netherlands offers 38.91 Mbps 4G speed and 84.92 percent 4G availability.

Russia offers 16.64 Mbps 4G speed and 55.86 percent 4G availability.

Latin America

Brazil offers 20.34 Mbps 4G speed and 59.31 percent 4G availability.

Chile offers 16.45 Mbps 4G speed and 65.08 percent 4G availability.

Argentina offers 11.82 Mbps 4G speed and 70.97 percent 4G availability.

Middle East

Kuwait offers 12.62 Mbps 4G speed and 83.57 percent 4G availability.

Bahrain offers 13.23 Mbps 4G speed and 78.35 percent 4G availability.

Saudi Arabia offers 7.33 Mbps 4G speed and 70.21 percent 4G availability.

Peak speed

OpenSignal could not identify a new country which offers 40 Mbps speed since its last report. The number of countries that averaged 4G speeds greater than 20 Mbps has fallen, rather than increased.

Individual mobile operators have offered 50 Mbps 4G download speeds. But OpenSignal could not identify a single country that consistently provides LTE connections greater than 50 Mbps. South Korea provides download speed of 45.9 Mbps, while Singapore offers 46.6 Mbps. South Korea and Singapore are the top two countries in terms of 4G download speed.

OpenSignal identified drop in 4G speeds in some of the top countries. A huge influx of new 4G users in developing countries is lifting LTE speeds in the bottom half of the rankings of OpenSignal.

4G availability vs 4G speed

OpenSignal is witnessing a slight decrease in average LTE speeds among top-performing countries.

13 countries averaged 4G downloads of 30 Mbps in the November report against 14 countries in the June report.

42 countries managed LTE connections with 20 Mbps speed or faster in the November report against 45 countries six months ago.

Singapore, South Korea, Norway and Hungary all maintained speeds over 42 Mbps.

Though LTE speeds have declined in many countries, that doesn’t mean that the user experience has similarly declined. As 4G availability increases worldwide, consumers spend more time connected to faster LTE networks than to slower 3G networks.

Baburajan K

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