The recent Ookla report on worldwide connectivity in 2023 has provided insights on 5G performance and the shifts in global rankings.
5G Performance: The significant increase in median global 5G download speed by 20 percent is an encouraging sign, reaching 203.04 Mbps in Q3 2023. This surge aligns with a substantial rise in global 5G subscriptions, indicating increased user adoption and network performance enhancements.
Top 5G Performers: The shift in the top 10 countries for 5G performance is noteworthy, with the United Arab Emirates claiming the lead spot, surpassing South Korea. Other countries like Malaysia, India, and the Dominican Republic have also made significant progress, showing a dynamic change in the global 5G landscape.
Customer Satisfaction: Despite advancements in 5G technology, there seems to be a decline in customer satisfaction among 5G users, as indicated by the Net Promoter Score (NPS). This dissatisfaction might stem from unmet expectations and disparities between advertised and actual 5G speeds, says Sylwia Kechiche, Principal Industry Analyst, Enterprise at Ookla.
Challenges and Future Prospects: While there’s remarkable progress, achieving symmetrical download and upload speeds, ultra-low latency, and true 5G deployment (Stand-Alone mode) remains a challenge. The industry’s exploration of 5G Advanced signals a proactive stance, gearing up for the eventual transition to 6G.
Country-Specific Insights: Countries like the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Malaysia, India, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic have showcased remarkable progress in their 5G journey, each with its unique strategy and advancements in spectrum allocation and network deployment.
5G network performance
Rapid Growth in 5G Connections: The surge in global 5G download speeds, reaching 203.04 Mbps in Q3 2023, aligns with a substantial increase in global 5G connections, reaching 1.4 billion, showcasing a 65 percent year-on-year growth from the previous year.
Upload Speeds and Latency: While 5G download speeds experienced a significant boost, upload speeds and latency saw modest improvements of only 1 percent. Symmetrical speeds and ultra-low latency, essential for optimal network responsiveness, remain elusive due to various factors, including the predominance of Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G networks.
Speed and Country Rankings: The United Arab Emirates and South Korea lead the global 5G performance with median download speeds of 592.01 Mbps and 507.59 Mbps, respectively. Malaysia’s unconventional deployment strategy placed it third globally at 485.24 Mbps. The dynamic changes in the top 10 rankings saw countries like the Dominican Republic and India making significant strides in their 5G capabilities.
Factors Impacting 5G Leadership: Factors contributing to the UAE’s leadership in 5G include intense market competition, extensive coverage, and the allocation of contiguous spectrum. The regional shift in 5G performance from the Middle East to the Asia Pacific region suggests early adopters in the latter region outperforming major European markets due to early spectrum availability and supportive government policies.
Country-Specific Achievements: Malaysia’s rapid climb to the third spot globally, India’s 5G launch propelling it into the top 10, and Brazil’s significant increase in 5G speeds post-spectrum auctions showcase each country’s unique strategies and advancements in 5G deployment. The Dominican Republic’s entry into the top 10 emphasizes its achievement as the first Caribbean nation to adopt 5G.
Spectrum Auctions’ Impact: Countries like Brazil have experienced substantial improvements in 5G speeds post-spectrum auctions, enabling operators to offer faster speeds on dedicated 5G spectrum compared to previous technology like DSS.