The State of LTE 2014 report by British company OpenSignal looked at data from its Android and iPhone apps installed on the devices of 6 million 4G users worldwide and found Aussies experienced 4G download speeds of 24.5 megabits per second (Mbps) on average, slightly ahead of 4G networks in Italy, Brazil and Hong Kong, which delivered speeds of 21 to 22 Mbps.
Australia jumped up from fifth place in OpenSignal's 2013 report, increasing its speeds by 42% on the average 4G download speed of 17.3 Mbps a year ago.
We may be the fastest but Australia came in at ninth place in terms of coverage, and users only experienced the 24.5 Mbps speeds 58% of the time.
Today there are about 4.5 million 4G subscribers in Australia and Vodafone, which recently rolled out 4G to the ACT, leads the pack with its "blisteringly fast" 33 Mbps speeds in Sydney but was excluded because OpenSignal's Vodafone users were only in Sydney and Melbourne, according to OpenSignal community manager Samuel Johnston as reported by Fairfax.
Average download speeds were therefore based on what OpenSignal users experienced using Telstra and Optus, which delivered speeds of 24 Mbps and 19 Mbps respectively.
Telstra had the second-fastest 4G network in the world, behind Brazil's Claro, which delivered 28 Mbps.
Other high-ranking countries included Denmark, Canada, Sweden and South Korea, which had average speeds of 18 to 20.1 Mbps, while 4G networks in Britain and France delivered 17.3 Mbps on average.
OpenSignal said in its release that speeds tend 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," the company said.
Average speeds in the US dropped to 6.5 mbps, down from 9.6 in the previous report in February 2013.
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