Mobile Download Speeds in the U.S.

I ran across this OpenSignal report yesterday. The title of the report: The 5G Opportunity. Their key take away:

Across 77 countries studied, 4G Download Speeds are between 31.2 Mbps and 5.8 Mbps faster at the best hour of day compared with the slowest hour of the day Congestion on current 4G networks is holding back speeds highlighting the need for new 5G capacity to relieve pressure.

Opensignal’s analysis uncovers that during the optimal time of day — usually when most users are asleep — networks are capable of enabling a significantly faster download experience than during awake hours.

I have always known that 4G speeds varied greatly, and congestion is a major contributor to slower downloads. I have experienced this personally at CES, many ball games, and other places where there was a lot of people generating volumes of mobile data. It is obvious that congestion will vary over a 24 hour timeframe, I have just never seen the data. New capacity should help relieve this pressure, so this is exciting. This 1st chart (Chart 1) shows the impact of congestion over the courses of a day.


That said, there is some other interesting data in this report that is worth a closer look. The following chart list 4G speeds in Mbps for different countries. Notice how far you have to scan down the list to find the U.S.. We can make all kinds of excuses for this, but the reality is that this sucks.


Perhaps this is a result of captialism. Don’t get me wrong, I am a product of a captiist society, and I am not suggesting massive changes. That said, we need to play the long game, and spend less time on quarterly or even monthly financial reports, and more time on how to win over time.

From a technical perspective, this will require more than just rolling out 5G. We need long term commitments to accelerating technology in higher speed networks.

I guess I am on a rant here. I hope this data helps demonstrate the magnitude of the challenge. You may think that network speeds are only of benefit to those that stream a lot of movies or play games. This is really a much bigger deal than that. As with so many other technologies, advancements here will impact many other ares of life and society.

The report is intesting, and there is a lot more to discuss. Maybe that’s a future blog post.

~ Rick

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