Seeking to unlock the reality of 5G speeds in comparison to WiFi, Opensignal released a report yesterday demonstrating that 5G greatly improves the real-world speeds that users experience across the globe.
Opensignal has been conducting scientific analysis to billions of on-device measurements since 2010, using an app to capture and analyze real user measurements. Yesterday’s report concludes that “for 5G to become the mainstay of the mobile experience, operators, regulators, consumers and governments should look to widen 5G rollouts and accelerate 5G adoption so more people can benefit from the greatly superior 5G mobile experience.”
The importance of these findings is even more prevalent today as countries around the world are grappling with the impact of COVID-19. “Our findings show the importance of not letting the current COVID-19 crisis — or active anti-5G disinformation campaigns — delay 5G rollouts because the increased capacity and faster speeds that 5G enables are critical to keeping people connected today and in the future with rising network usage,” the report stated.
Breaking down the analysis, Opensource referred to a report released November of 2018, that first compared the cellular and WiFi experience. The analysis found that in 41 percent of countries, smartphone users experienced faster speeds on cellular networks than on WiFi. Many of these countries were reportedly emerging mobile-first markets. The results in more developed markets revealed WiFi to be faster.
In its most recent report, Opensource finds 5G to be faster than WiFi in seven out of eight leading 5G countries. 4G is noted to be faster than WiFi in only two of these countries, Australia and Saudi Arabia. An exception to its analysis shows WiFi in the U.S. offering a gain over 5G “because of the large number of U.S. 5G users connecting on widely available, but relatively slow, 5G networks that are deployed using low spectrum bands.”
Most countries deployed early 5G services across the mid-spectrum band, otherwise known as C-band, offering relatively high-speed capacity at 3.5 GHz. The U.S. approach differed by way of T-Mobile and AT&T launching their services on low-band spectrum. While capacity is less in the low band, wider coverage is gained. The overall strategy for 5G rollout across the U.S. is for carriers to incrementally offer 5G on higher mid-band frequencies, thus increasing average 5G speeds.
Comparing U.S. 5G speeds today against 2018’s data, the Opensource analysis confirms this approach to be successful. “Already, we have seen higher 5G speeds in the U.S. on these types of bands than in our initial U.S. 5G measurements,” the report concluded.
View the Opensource report here.
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