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OpenSignal: U.S. LTE Speeds Second Slowest Globally
by Karl Bode 11:30AM Friday Feb 21 2014
OpenSignal has released a new study analyzing the performance of LTE networks around the globe. According to the research firm, the United States offers the second-slowest LTE speeds on average (behind the Phillipines). According to Open Signal, US LTE speeds have fallen 32 percent to 6.5Mbps since their last study. The fastest average LTE speeds were seen in Australia, Italy and Brazil, at 24.5 Mbps, 22.2 Mbps and 21 Mbps respectively.

Click for full size
A large chunk of the slowdown in the United States appears to be attributable, in part, to the slower speeds provided by a bevy of spectrum-constrained (or intentionally throttled) prepaid wireless operators. Though slower than the global average speeds offered by even the top four LTE providers is also part of the reason.

"The USA networks uniformly perform poorly for speed – with Metro PCS recording the slowest speeds of all eligible networks, possibly a result of their small spectrum allocation, which uses a 5MHz band while most US carriers use 20MHz," notes the firm.

Within the United States, T-Mobile received top honors for the fastest LTE speeds at 11.5 Mbps. T-Mobile was followed up by AT&T at 9.12 Mbps, 7.82 Mbps for Verizon Wireless, and 4.32 Mbps for Sprint. You should see Verizon's position in the speed race jump as the company more broadly deploys its AWS spectrum into additional markets.

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MineFaster

@comcast.net

US numbers seem low to me; always get much faster numbers

I looked at the numbers, but that isn't my experience at all. I'm on AT&T and get LTE speeds inside my house averaging about 25 mbps down and 15 or more up. And I live in the suburbs. And when visiting in Philly, I get anywhere from 20 to 40 mbps depending on location.
Synbios

join:2002-05-18
Arlington, VA
Reviews:
·Charter
·Comcast
·Verizon FiOS

Re: US numbers seem low to me; always get much faster numbers

said by MineFaster :

I looked at the numbers, but that isn't my experience at all. I'm on AT&T and get LTE speeds inside my house averaging about 25 mbps down and 15 or more up. And I live in the suburbs. And when visiting in Philly, I get anywhere from 20 to 40 mbps depending on location.

Back when I had Verizon LTE in 2011 I would constantly get over 25 Mbps down and over 10 Mbps up but since then the network has gotten significantly more crowded. I'll be lucky to get 5 Mbps down these days.

wiggie116
Premium
join:2013-10-31
Pittsfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
Click for full size
Same here. I am in western MA. I've gotten speed test as high as 68 down 20 up. LTE was just launched here last summer. I also have VZ for work and, it tops out around 20 down 5 up.

RWSI

join:2012-11-27
Albuquerque, NM

Not even the LTE speeds

In New Mexico it's lucky to have decent wireless coverage. To say even LTE exists here is a joke.
I can't get older coverage worth anything paying for.

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA

1 recommendation

Fastest where it matters

We're the fastest at marketing LTE which helps the most important thing, money for the investors.
--
Say no to those that ‘inadvertently make false representations’.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Meaningless Statistics

As Karl correctly points out, our allocation system - mostly block-by-auction-by-MSA, yields a lot of fragmentation, which is somewhat offset by private spectrum trades. It is certainly not the most efficient way to use a very limited resource.

But it does permit each "little guy" a means to control their facilities, not just be at the mercy of the Big Two on a wholesale / resale / virtual allocation basis. The latter would be far more efficient, but we'd hear no end of conspiracy theories on this blog, alleging rate favoritism, 3rd-class priority for MetroPCS subscribers, etc, accompanied by wholesale opposition to any form of bandwidth management.

I'd much rather have a choice of physical networks.

The average data rate for the country has no relevance.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Silver Lining

But there is a silver lining. We most likely pay more than anyone else on the planet for those slower speeds I have to wonder if this survey was an aggregate of all providers or just specific markets and/or carriers. My experience with Sprint would convince me they skewed the numbers.
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.

cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Re: Silver Lining

"We most likely pay more than anyone else on the planet for those slower speeds"

That was one of the first things I looked for within the article. You just about know it's true, also.
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

machpost

join:2002-01-11
Washington, DC

VZW Slow in DC

Here in DC, I never see much more than 5-6mbps on my Verizon iPhone 5, while I see much faster speeds in other parts of the country. It seems like the oldest LTE markets are really strained for capacity, but if you complain to Verizon, they claim that these are acceptable speeds.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: VZW Slow in DC

said by machpost:

if you complain to Verizon, they claim that these are acceptable speeds.

Good thing you can switch providers if you aren't happy with your current one.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA

Re: VZW Slow in DC

After that ETF, sure.
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA

Re: VZW Slow in DC

not true.. TMO will buy out his contract.

Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1

Re: VZW Slow in DC

TMO network in urban NOVA/DC is excellent. Kick VZ to the curb.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000
Reviews:
·Charter
said by jjeffeory:

After that ETF, sure.

That, too, is your choice. There are also some providers that will help pay your ETF if you switch.

delusion ftl

@comcast.net
Sounds like time to find a better carrier, probably save a ton of money too while you are at it.

spewak
R.I.P Dadkins
Premium
join:2001-08-07
Elk Grove, CA
kudos:1

OpenSignal: U.S. LTE Speeds Second Slowest Globally

Yeah, it's called Sprint by most....
existenz

join:2014-02-12
kudos:2

Re: OpenSignal: U.S. LTE Speeds Second Slowest Globally

Well Sprint and VZW CDMA 3G drag down the averages considerably.

grapkoski
Premium
join:2004-05-28
Washington, DC

Re: OpenSignal: U.S. LTE Speeds Second Slowest Globally

Agree about EvDO, but Sprint LTE isn't dragging us down.

»www.speedtest.net/my-result/3218240090

Re: OpenSignal: U.S. LTE Speeds Second Slowest Globally

said by grapkoski:

Agree about EvDO, but Sprint LTE isn't dragging us down.

»www.speedtest.net/my-result/3218240090

Seeing as the carrier for that speedtest was RCN, and the ping was 12ms, I'm gonna go ahead and say that you weren't running it off Sprint's LTE network.

connections

@pppoe.ca
said by existenz:

Well Sprint and VZW CDMA 3G drag down the averages considerably.

The article is about LTE not CDMA.
existenz

join:2014-02-12
kudos:2

Re: OpenSignal: U.S. LTE Speeds Second Slowest Globally

However CDMA brings down the overall speeds for VZW and Sprint.

connections

@pppoe.ca

Re: OpenSignal: U.S. LTE Speeds Second Slowest Globally

said by existenz:

However CDMA brings down the overall speeds for VZW and Sprint.

Not when they're not testing CDMA networks.

Cthen

join:2004-08-01
Detroit, MI

Finally!

We are in the top 10 for something for once!
wkm001

join:2009-12-14

AT&T vs Verizon

I have been using Verizon LTE for the past 1.5 years. It is considerably slower than it use to be. With AT&T's $100 bill credit per line and $15 smartphone access fee I could no longer resist.

I ran an AT&T speed test today and got better speeds than I ever have on Verizon LTE.
»www.speedtest.net/my-result/a/743142683
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Out of context

We were one of the first countries with LTE, so we have way more users using LTE now. Give it a couple of years, and many other countries will come down in speed. Also, MetroPCS shouldn't really be counted, as they are running an LTE network, but it's not designed to give even Faux G speeds, as it's running on such tiny bits of spectrum. Also, they are owned by T-Mobile now, so they will eventually go away. AT&T's network is by far the fastest nationwide, and Verizon is probably pulling these numbers way down with their absurdly large tower spacing.
WhatNow
Premium
join:2009-05-06
Charlotte, NC
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Out of context

Don't know about speed but I am seeing more bars and LTE pop up in the small towns rural farmland where I use to get 1 bar 3G or 2G on AT&T. Maybe as AT&T and Verizon deploy the reported micro cells the speeds will increase as they off load users from the towers.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: Out of context

For most places, micro cells don't matter. For extremely dense urban centers (think around Penn Station, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Herald Square, etc) and sports/event venues, they will be very useful, but otherwise, they won't affect much. Verizon's tower density issue is in urban and suburban areas, and is a macro tower issue, not a micro cell issue. AT&T has way more towers than Verizon in many areas.