Wednesday, 08 December 2021 12:36

South Korea tops world average 5G download speeds, Australia ranks 14th for 5G reach globally

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South Korea again tops the world for average 5G download speeds with 423.8Mbps, followed by Norway at 355.3Mbps, and Taiwan at 320Mbps, according to independent mobile analytics company Opensignal.

However, Opensignal notes that Taiwan retains its top position on the 5G Peak Download Speed.

Norway takes first place in 5G Upload Speed with users experiencing average speeds of 41.9Mbps, ahead of Taiwan. While South Korea tops many 5G global categories, it is ranked ninth on 5G Upload Speed.

In total, 12 European markets are in the top 15 for average 5G upload speeds including early 5G launch markets like Switzerland (4th) and Germany (14th).

Opensignal says there is interesting competition between neighbouring countries. New Zealand is one rank higher up the global 5G Download Speed chart than Australia — but their scores are statistically tied. In Nordic markets, Norway (355.3Mbps) is significantly ahead of Sweden (291.3Mbps) and Finland (208.6Mbps) on average 5G Download Speed.

South Korea’s strong speed continues to dominate when it comes to multiplayer mobile gaming and communication using voice apps. It has the highest score for 5G Games Experience of 91.2 on a 100-point scale — especially notable given the popularity of gaming in South Korea. It also has the highest score for 5G Voice App Experience (84.6).

A European market offers the best 5G Video Experience: Sweden tops the world with a score of 83. South Korea did not make it to the top 15 globally. Only two markets from outside Europe rank in the top 15: Singapore (80.8) and the Hong Kong special administrative region of China (80.3). Of the largest five European markets — France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK — only Germany is in the top 15 places in any of these categories. Germany ranks 9th for 5G Games Experience and 13th for both the other two.

Singapore landed a rank on all three of these 5G experiential measures. It ranks third for 5G Games Experience, 12th for 5G Voice App Experience, and 14th in 5G Video Experience.

According to Opensignal, this is an impressive achievement given the 5G spectrum challenges and the limited availability of new 5G spectrum capacity in Singapore and across the region.

Opensignal says when looking at the degree to which the 5G experience is superior to older 4G technology, different markets emerge at the top.

The Philippines has the greatest uplift in download speeds with an average 5G download speeds 9.8 times faster than 4G.

Similarly, it tops the uplift chart for mobile video streaming with a 5G Video Experience score that is 34% higher than using 4G. Israel also features in both uplift charts, with speeds 8.9 times faster using 5G, and users seeing a 26% improvement in the score for Video Experience. Thailand ranks fourth for download speed uplift (7.5 times faster on 5G) and third for video streaming (25% better with 5G).

Even some of the fastest 5G markets are seeing a big improvement on 5G. South Koreans enjoy an average 5G download speeds 6.3 times faster than 4G, Taiwanese have 8.9 times faster speed, UAE users 7.4, and Swedes have an 7.1 fold jump.

5G is still in the rollout phase in most global markets but becoming increasingly common.

Those users with a 5G smartphone and a 5G tariff plan spend over one fifth of time with an active 5G connection — 5G Availability — in use on their smartphone in seven markets: South Korea, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Qatar, US, and Taiwan. On 5G Reach, in all of the top fifteen global markets, users saw a 5G signal in over one third of the locations they visited.

Opensignal says users are seeing a wide extent of 5G services with these results.

The US ranks 6th for 5G Availability and 4th for 5G Reach. Canada, the second largest country in the world by land area, ranks 13th in 5G Reach. Similarly, one of the geographically largest markets in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, places highly in both 5G Availability (3rd) and 5G Reach (8th) while the vast Australia ranks 14th for 5G Reach globally.

The latest 5G global analysis again highlights how 5G is accelerating improvements in the experience of mobile users worldwide.

In 2022, Opensignal says it expects 5G to become an even more important part of life.

This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 2 December 2021.

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