In the February 2014 OpenSignal report, the United States ranked 15th of 16 countries for download speeds, as the average data rate dropped to 6.5Mbps from 9.6 megabits per second in the February 2013 report.
There is no 4G yet in Nigeria even as some tech-savvy individuals in the country doubt the touted availability of 3.75G.
The authors say US networks ‘uniformly perform poorly’ for speed – increasing claims the technology has not yet lived up to the hype surrounding its launch.
HOW THEY DID IT
To create the graphics, OpenSignal took data from users of its speed testing app, which has 6 million users.
It focused on their experience of two key metrics: download speed, and the proportion of time spent with LTE access.
Of the country’s major network operators, T-Mobile had the best data rate, at 11.2Mbps. AT&T rated 8.9Mbps, Verizon 7.6Mbps, and Sprint 4.2Mbps.
However, Verizon, followed by AT&T, rated much better for coverage.
Metro PCS recorded the slowest speeds of all eligible networks, possibly a result of their small spectrum allocation, which uses a 5MHz band while most US carriers use 20MHz.
The data was collected by the OpenSignal app.
It warned that operators may be attempting to deceive customers over the speed of 4G.
‘Network operators around the world are working hard to convince their users to make the jump to LTE.
‘The term ‘4G’ acts as a convenient label for marketers to emphasise the superiority of this new standard over its predecessors.
‘We found that not all LTE networks are created equal, indeed there is an extremely broad range of experience across both metrics.
‘Only about a quarter of networks surveyed achieve both good coverage and fast speeds; clearly there remains much work before LTE lives up to its full potential.’
To create the graphics, OpenSignal took data from those of our 6 million users who have LTE and focussed on their experience of two key metrics: download speed, and the proportion of time spent with LTE access,’ the firm said.
‘Looking at coverage goes some way towards mitigating the USA’s poor speed performance,’ it said.
‘The USA performs well on our coverage metric, with the average user experiencing LTE coverage 67% of the time, with Australia, the fastest country, on 58%.
OpenSignal said speeds tended to drop as a carrier takes on more users.
‘This is the reason that some countries have improved since our last report a year ago, while others have worsened,’ it said
Most of the country averages have stayed broadly the same, with only minor improvement or deterioration in service. Australia and Japan have made the biggest improvements, with Australia’s average speeds increasing 42% to 24.5Mbps and Japan improving 66% to 11.8Mbps.
The USA suffers the biggest decline, with average speeds falling 32% to 6.5 Mbps, the second slowest global average.