Wireless coverage mapping company OpenSignal has released its newest report on the global state of mobile networks. It examines 3G/4G speeds and coverage together instead of only 4G LTE data like last year.
The report gathered data from 822,556 users around the world who use OpenSignal’s mobile software. It reveals which country offer the fastest mobile networks and how much time users spend connected on their WiFi networks, which are faster than 4G LTE networks.
South Korea’s need for Internet speed
The Asian country, cClocking in at 41Mbps, offers the fastest mobile networks around the globe. It has a notable margin of ten points over closest rival Singapore that’s on 31Mpbs. Next in line is Hungary on 26Mbps. Typical user speeds allow calculating these values.
The United States provides consumers with a standard speed of 12.3Mbps, while in the United Kingdom and China users get 13.7Mbps and 18Mbps, respectively.
In Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, many countries are above 20Mbps, while more to the west France, Germany, Italy, Greece, and Portugal are at 13Mbps. On the other hand, emerging markets such as India (5.3Mbps) or countries in economic crisis like Venezuela (3.88Mbps), which have a less developed infrastructure, show very slow typical speeds.
Asia and Oceania rule 3G/4G coverage
Faster average user data speeds depend on network availability or 3G/4G coverage. Underperforming countries are only beginning to introduce 4G LTE networks, still relying on 3G and even 2G networks to cover much of the population.
Meanwhile, the fastest performing countries all have systems that cover with at least 3G data more than 90% of the time. South Korea also comes on top in this ranking. It’s easier to find 4G connection than 3G in its population.
Impressively, the US (ranked 17th) doesn’t make it to the top ten but still gives Americans a 3G/4G connection 91% of the time. The US offers similar coverage than the top 10 but slower typical data speeds.
“South Korea's internet is about to be 50 times faster than yours:" http://t.co/KKvBnYWvpP”
— Jason Silva (@JasonSilva) January 22, 2014
In China is the other way around, handing worse coverage than the US but higher average data rates. India, meanwhile, suffers again from its infrastructure providing 3G or better connectivity to just 56% of its population.
Users still prefer Wi-Fi over 4G
But whether countries have faster or slower mobile networks, or offer wider coverage or more limited coverage, the data shows that a significant number of smartphone owners still prefer to use Wi-Fi connections due to low 4G speeds or the high cost per GB on mobile plans.
Even in countries with the fastest 3G/4G data speeds, users spent more than 60% of their time on Wi-Fi. People in 46 countries more also spend most of their time on Wi-Fi up to 50%.