LTE Speeds in the U.S. Have Taken a Dive

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Friday, 21 February 2014

LTE Speeds in the U.S. Have Taken a Dive



With more and more carriers in the U.S. spouting off about how great their LTE service and/or coverage is, you would think the networks would be capable of handling a great deal of users. However, when comparing our LTE networks to those in other countries, it certainly doesn’t appear to be that way. Information that OpenSignal (a network monitoring app) gathered over the last year, shows download speeds have dropped for LTE networks. OpenSignal gathers data from 6 million people who use its app to monitor coverage. Data for the latest report was gathered in the second half of 2013.

If you consider all the additional LTE coverage that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have added, think about how many additional users are connecting to the same cell towers. What some people don’t think about is that, the more users connected to the cell tower, the larger the load and therefore the less available bandwidth from the tower.

OpenSignal’s February 2014 report ranked the U.S. 15th out of 16 countries for download speeds. The average data rate dropped to 6.5Mbps from 9.6 megabits per second in the February 2013 report. While Verizon of course has the best coverage, out of our major carriers, T-Mobile had the best data rate, at 11.2Mbps. AT&T rated 8.9Mbps, Verizon 7.6Mbps, and Sprint 4.2Mbps. Check out more carrier results, including International ones, below.




As compared to the rest of the world, Australia had an average download speed of 24.5Mbps; Hong Kong was next at 21Mbps and Denmark came in 3rd at 20.1Mbps. For the rest of the results, check out the chart from OpenSignal below.


Like the U.S., Germany and Sweden also saw download rates decline. OpenSignal commented on this saying, "Mobile networks do not remain constant, with operators constantly rolling out to new areas and making improvements to their network. On the other side of the coin, increased users combat these improvements, as increased network load brings down average speeds. This is the reason that some countries have improved since our last report a year ago, while others have worsened."

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 February 2014 )
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