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Published on Thursday, February 20, 2014

South Korea leads the world with LTE coverage, while Australia leads on 4G speed

A new report about the state of 4G LTE coverage around the world has been published by UK-based business OpenSignal, which creates crowd-sourced mobile network coverage maps from its Android and iOS apps.

The report looks at two key concerns: download speeds and the proportion of time spent in an area covered by an LTE service.

Overall, OpenSignal found only a quarter of networks delivered both good coverage and fast speeds. For example, the Claro network in Brazil had 4G speeds of 28.45Mbps but the average customer only had 4G coverage 43% of the time. Conversely, Sweden’s Tele2 network had slower maximum speeds (18.07Mbps) but provided 4G coverage 93% of the time.

Country-wide averages made Australia the best place for LTE speed (24.5Mbps). However, South Korea was the country where the best 4G coverage could be found: an average 91% of the time.

EE, O2 and Vodafone in the UK were all classed as having fast 4G speeds (between 17-19Mbps) but customers only experienced LTE coverage about half the time.

Average 4G LTE speeds have remained relatively stable since last year’s report. The biggest improvements were seen in Australia (average speeds up 42%) and Japan (improving 66% to 11.8Mbps), while average USA LTE speeds fell by 32% to 6.5 Mbps.

Around 6 million devices worldwide have the OpenSignal app installed.

[OpenSignal ‘The State of LTE’ 2014 report]

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