The United States is widely recognized as a potential world super power. That doesn’t mean the country has fast cell phone speeds.
The United States is currently the 55th best country in terms of 4G LTE performance. The country has fallen from 43rd in the previous quarter. The drop comes as speeds are rapidly increasing in countries that adopted the technology somewhat later on.
As of now, average download speeds on 4G networks in the country are 10 Mbps. This is an improvement from last quarter, when networks of the United States only managed to achieve 9 Mbps. Meanwhile, other countries experienced much larger increases.
The United States became one of the initial countries with commercial LTE service in 2010 when Verizon Wireless launched its network. However, countries that launched the service later started with better technology. These countries have often obtained more frequencies and other enhancements that carriers in the United States have not yet obtained.
Leading the pack was New Zealand, with speeds of 36 Mbps.
Other countries known for their fast cell phone speeds performed well. Singapore had 33 Mbps, while South Korea achieved 29 Mbps.
Some other countries to beat the United States included Hungary, the Dominican Republic, and Morocco.
However, it isn’t all bad for the United States. American smartphone users are on LTE 78% of the time, which was good enough for 10th place in terms of “time coverage”. Meanwhile, a country like Morocco might have fast LTE, but they can’t access it half of the time.
Another factor slowing the United States down is the fact that a large number of people access the networks offered by major carriers. So many users in the United States are fighting for network activity that it slows the LTE service down.
However, some countries are considerably outperforming the United States. For example South Korean users experience LTE service 97% of the time.
While there was international competition, there was also domestic competition between carriers. Verizon led the way, offering LTE coverage 84% of the time. AT&T came in second with 81%. Next was T-Mobile with 77%. Sprint managed just 64%.
When it came to speeds, Verizon and T-Mobile tied at 12 Mbps. AT&T achieved an average of 8 Mbps. Sprint was last of the major carriers with 6 Mbps.
The data was collected from a company called OpenSignal. The company offers a free app that users can utilize to measure their speed. The results from this latest quarter were from more than 300,000 worldwide users.