A report comparing the progress of LTE network rollouts worldwide as of the fourth quarter of 2015 reveals that markets with the best coverage do not necessarily provide the fastest data speeds.
For example, among European countries alone the report from OpenSignal, which monitors the coverage and performance of mobile operators worldwide, shows that the Netherlands demonstrated the best coverage at 84 per cent on average, with KPN marginally in the lead at 86 per cent. OpenSignal said it assesses coverage based on the proportion of time that users have an LTE signal.
However, despite its good performance for coverage the Netherlands lags behind Hungary, Romania and Denmark in terms of LTE speeds. Indeed, Hungary was the fastest LTE market in Europe in the fourth quarter of last year, with speeds of 28 Mbps.
Meanwhile OpenSignal said South Korea "continues to set the standard for LTE availability, providing a near ubiquitous 4G signal to the country's highly saturated mobile market," with 97 per cent on average. Singapore, on the other hand, offers by far the fastest speeds with an average of 37 Mbps.
The report, which is based on crowd-sourced data from hundreds of thousands of OpenSignal users that have LTE-capable phones and connect to operators with live 4G networks, concluded that although, there is "no question" that LTE is progressing, "we're still a long way off from achieving 4G ubiquity across the globe."
For example, the report found that 4G availability has actually exceeded 3G in South Korea and Japan, but Europe in particular is still leaning heavily on its extensive 3G infrastructure.
OpenSignal remarked that in Germany, Italy, France and the UK, "the chances a 4G subscriber will connect to an LTE network are little better than a coin flip."
Sweden, Norway and Finland all performed far better, however, each with time-coverage numbers greater than 75 per cent.
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