UK-based OpenSignal unveiled its latest global State of LTE report covering 75 countries. At more than 19 billion measurements from 558,260 smartphone and smart device users to compare 4G speed and availability during the period between January 01- March 31, 2017, it is arguably the most comprehensive such survey undertaken. For its State of LTE report, OpenSignal collected data from regular consumer smartphones under conditions of normal usage.
India has both reasons to cheer and improve. 71.6% in 4G availability for the third quarter of 2016 has jumped to 81.6% in the 1st quarter of 2017 quarter measured. A jump due to a very unique case of a single operator, Jio who launched a nationwide LTE network that attracted 100 million subscribers in its first 6 months. Availability levels of other operators in Indian market still hovered around 60%. However, its download speeds averaged 5.1 Mbps in the new report, dropping more than a megabit per second in just six months. These download speeds are only marginally faster than the average global 3G download speed which is at 4.4 Mbps.
Unveiling the report, Brendan Gill, Co-Founder & CEO, OpenSignal, said “The mobile industry may now be turning its attention to 5G, but as OpenSignal's latest analysis of global LTE performance shows there is still plenty of activity surrounding 4G. As new LTE networks come online and old networks gain new life through LTE-Advanced upgrades, 4G signals are making their way into new niches across the globe and operators are pushing the boundaries of 4G speeds.” “As our report illustrates, India is one of the most dynamic and fast changing mobile markets. The government and other stakeholders must continue to seize the immense opportunity and climb the global rankings across all parameters, to ensure high quality and consistent mobile experience for its 1 billion plus mobile users,” he further added.
Other key report findings:
Figure 1 (below) shows how consistently accessible 4G networks are in each country. Rather than measure geographic coverage, OpenSignal's availability metric tracks the proportion of time users have access to a particular network.
Figure 2 (below in page 3) compares 4G speed against 4G availability for countries covered in this report. Countries higher up and towards the right in the chart have both fast LTE networks and a high proportion of LTE signals, reflecting more developed 4G infrastructures. Countries in the lower-left hand side are typically in early stages of their LTE rollouts. There's no hard and fast rule, though. Countries can have highly accessible networks, but their speeds can be limited by capacity constraints.
Meanwhile countries with new LTE networks may have limited 4G availability but, due to their light loads, can support considerably fast speeds.