5G yet to start improving customer experience of US mobile users

The Opensignal report — State of Mobile: USA analysis for May 2019 – indicates that 5G is yet to start positively impacting the customer experience of customers in the United States.
AT&T 5G network expansionVerizon, AT&T and Sprint have started rolling out 5G mobile across selected cities in the US targeting limited population coverage.

The average download speeds experienced by smartphone users across all mobile networks in the U.S. have grown to 21.3 Mbps in Q1 2019 from 17 Mbps in Q1 2018, Opensignal said.

U.S. users with 4G devices had LTE connections 93 percent of the time in Q1 2019 and experienced average upload speeds of 6.3 Mbps.

They experienced latency, or responsiveness, ranging from 44.1ms to 66.4ms – as compared with the low single digits promised by 5G’s designers.

“While small scale 5G launches are now occurring in limited areas within select cities in the U.S., the majority of users across the country connect to 4G with average download speeds of 21.3 Mbps,” said Brendan Gill, CEO of Opensignal.

5G will take several years to surpass 4G as the predominantly used wireless technology due to the size of the U.S., limited mid-band spectrum and a measured rollout of 5G-equipped devices.

Average download speeds smartphone users experienced ranged from 32.9 Mbps in New Jersey to 12.1 Mbps in Mississippi.

Technology hub cities such as San Francisco, Seattle and Austin ranked in the bottom half of the largest fifty cities on measures of Download Speed, Upload Speed, and Video Experience.

Cleveland (33.8 Mbps) and Minneapolis (32.2 Mbps), which is pegged as one of the first cities to roll out 5G, offered users the fastest Download Speed Experience across the fifty largest cities.

Additional cities aiming for early 5G rollouts didn’t perform quite as well with mobile download speed: Chicago (26.4 Mbps), Los Angeles (23.1 Mbps), Sacramento (22.9 Mbps) and Austin (20.4 Mbps).

Baltimore and New York City offered users the most responsive experience with average latencies of 44ms. With an average 60ms latency in the U.S., consumers are still a long way from 5G’s single-digit target.

New York City and Salt Lake City’s high upload speeds offer the best experience for sharing smartphone photos and videos.

The latest Opensignal report said South Korea was the only country to score over 50 Mbps in Download Speed, with the majority of countries scoring in the 10-20 Mbps range.

13 of the 87 countries averaged Latency Experience scores under 40 milliseconds, while none scored under 30ms. 5G’s designers target much improved latency as one of their goals.

On the eve of 5G’s launch, South Korea was the only country where smartphone users enjoyed average mobile Download Speeds over 50 Mbps, though Norway was close behind with 48.2 Mbps.