Singapore, S. Korea dominate 4G LTE rankings, Philippines struggles

Crowdsourced mobile data from OpenSignal revealed some interesting figures for the third quarter of 2016. Based on statistics published today, Singapore and South Korea have the best 4G data speeds and nationwide availability, respectively. Asian neighbors India, Indonesia, and the Philippines didn’t do nearly as well.

4G LTE connectivity is expanding at an exponential rate across the globe, and gradually eclipsing the older 3G technologies from a generation ago. Unfortunately, not every country is experiencing equal opportunities, and some are left wondering where all the bandwidth is going.

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Singapore gets top honors for 4G speeds in the world, averaging a blistering 45.86 megabits per second (Mbps). This means you can wirelessly download files at 5.7 megabytes per second (MBps — notice the uppercase B). Remember that a megabyte is equal to eight megabits.

The city-state is followed closely by South Korea at 45.77Mbps, Hungary at 40.61Mbps, and Romania at 35.61Mbps. You have to go all the way down to 25.75Mbps to discover the next-fastest East Asian nation, Taiwan. How about high-tech Japan? Its citizens are enjoying 22.38Mbps.

Even though the majority of the included countries averaged more than 20Mbps, the global average is only 17.4Mbps. We can the blame the terribly low speeds of developing nations for dropping the number.

Indonesia, the Philippines, and India were particularly bad for Asia, averaging only 8.79Mbps, 7.27Mbps, and 6.39Mbps, respectively. It gets even more embarrassing when you combine the three, giving you a total of 22.45Mbps, just above the global norm.

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For nationwide availability, OpenSignal doesn’t measure geographic reach; rather, the metric tracks the “proportion of time users have access to a particular network.” This places indoor connections and moments of high network congestion into consideration, putting all participants on a more level playing field. Garnering a score of 50 percent means users have 4G access half of the time.

South Korea has a near perfect score of 95.71 percent, followed by Japan’s 92.03 percent and Lithuania’s 84.73 percent. The worst-performing countries are Sri Lanka (40.27%), Lebanon (41.53%), Ecuador (42.56%), Ireland (43.45%), and the Philippines (44.8%).

Notice something? Yeah, the Philippines ranks in the bottom five for both 4G speeds and availability. Fingers can be pointed at multiple excuses, such as the difficulty in covering an archipelago and the country’s mobile network duopoly, but the fact remains that the Pacific-based republic struggles to keep up with evolving wireless standards.

Take note, however, that even though this is a global survey comprising 78 countries, numerous African and Asian regions are excluded because they lack test data for fair analysis.

OpenSignal 4G LTE graph

Click the image for a closer look

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You can find the complete set of statistics on OpenSignal’s website, complete with interactive maps and graphs. It’s all quite fascinating, and will either enlighten or frustrate you, depending on where you live.

If you want to contribute to the cause, you can download OpenSignal’s app for Android or iOS. On top of collecting data, it can also help you find more stable network connections and nearby Wi-Fi hotspots around the globe.

Confused by some of the terminology? Watch our LTE-A explainer video to bring you up to speed:

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