Monday, 29 August 2016 02:13

OpenSignal releases first ’Global State of Mobile Networks’ report

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Following on from OpenSignal’s Global State of LTE report comes its successor, looking at both 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi network coverage on a global basis.

OpenSignal’s new report can be found at Opensignal, entitled, “Global State of Mobile Networks (August 2016).”

The company states in its introduction that: “LTE may be the technology du jour, but 4G can only tell us so much about a country's overall mobile networking progress. In our first Global State of Networks report, OpenSignal has examined the overall mobile data performance of the 95 different countries to see how they stack up.

“While 4G is a big factor especially in the most developed nations, 3G is still an important component of most countries' mobile data infrastructure and Wifi has a major influence on the way the majority of the world uses smartphones.”

The report is based on “12 billion (12,356,994,498) data points collected by 822,556 OpenSignal users in 95 countries around the world", with the sample period being from 1 May to 23 July.

Report highlights include:

  • 3G networks are now quite common in most countries. Only in two of the 95 countries that OpenSignal examined do users have access to 3G less than 50% of the time.
  • There is much more variation in overall 3G/4G speeds. The lowest speed an OpenSignal user measured in a country was 2.2 Mbps, while the fastest was an impressive 41.3 Mbps.
  • Wi-Fi has arguably become a more important technology than 3G or 4G in many countries. OpenSignal "sees consumers in some places connecting to Wi-Fi as much as 70% of the time".
  • OpenSignal has also made a deep dive analysis on the mobile performance in Europe and South America and these figures are also available

The report also has some great charts showing how each country compares with the others.

The first big chart dubbed “3G/4G Availability Comparison” puts Australia in fourth place, just shy of the bronze medal in the Wireless Connectivity Olympics, with 94.6% having 3G or better availability.

This compares with South Korea in first place with 98.54% 4G or better availability, Japan at number 2 with 95.52% and Israel at number 3 with 95.23%

In the ‘Overall Speed Comparison’ chart, Australia is yet again pipped at the post into fourth spot, with an overall speed of 25.1Mbps.

In third place is Hungary with an overall speed of 25.16Mbps, Singapore is at number 2 with 31.19 but South Korea is first, powering ahead full steam at 41.34Mbps.

In this case, Japan in is ninth spot at a still respectable 21.25Mbps but just on half the speed of its South Korean competitors.

In the ‘Time on Wi-Fi’ comparison chart, Australia comes in at 41st place at having 3G 50.99% of the time.

OpenSignal explains "this metric shows the percentage of time that users in each country were connected to Wi-Fi networks rather than cellular networks in our tests".

"Time on Wi-Fi, however, doesn’t represent the amount of data usage over Wi-Fi."

The top three are the Netherlands in top spot at 70.05% usage, China at 63.16% usage and New Zealand at 62.96%.

There’s also a groovy interactive map showing you the global picture on connectivity, and plenty more stats into which you can sink your wirelessly connected teeth.

Check it all out at the report here!

OpenSignal 2 global state mobile networks aug 2016


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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