Singapore has the world’s fastest 4G speed, but network availability still leaves a lot to be desired : Report

Singapore may have the fastest 4G speed in the world, but still falls short in terms of network availability.
The Straits Times

Singapore sits on the throne for the world’s fastest 4G mobile internet service speed, according to UK-based wireless technology company OpenSignal’s The State of (Long-Term Evolution) LTE report on Feb 20.

The February 2018 report, which involved analysis of over 58 billion measurements from more than 4.8 million test devices, ranked Singapore top in a 4G speed comparison among 88 countries.

Singapore’s average download connection speed is 44.31 megabits per second (Mbps), with the Netherlands and Norway coming in at second (42.12Mbps) and third (41.20Mbps) place respectively.

The speed of a country’s 4G internet connectivity is dependent on several factors, says the report, such as amount of spectrum devoted to LTE, the adoption of new 4G technologies, density of built networks and congestion.

Singapore has an especially strong rivalry with South Korea when contending for fastest 4G speed.

Both countries have been consistently neck-and-neck at the top two positions since November 2016, with Singapore narrowly outclassing South Korea each time.

A drop from 45.85Mbps in November last year to 40.44Mbps has left South Korea at fourth place in the most recent report.

“While that speed still ranks among the fastest in the world, it may be an indication that South Korea’s vaunted LTE-Advanced networks may be showing their first signs of capacity constraints,” says the report.

OpenSignal notes that the fastest countries seem to be stuck in a holding pattern, remaining out of reach of the coveted 50Mbps threshold for average 4G speed.

Despite the shortcoming, the report praises the mobile industry for expanding 4G availability globally at a steady pace.

Availability was measured by tracking the proportion of time users have access to a particular 4G network.

Consumers in five countries have access to an LTE connection more than 90% of the time –  an increase from just two countries three months ago – thanks to an industry focus on expanding access more people and places.

Top countries include South Korea (97.49%), Japan (94.70%) and Norway (92.16%).

However, where 4G availability comes into play, Singapore has fallen short as the country has plummeted from ninth place (84.56%) to 19th place (84.43%), lagging behind Asian countries like Hong Kong (90.34%), India (86.26%) and Thailand (85.58%).

It is not all bad news.

OpenSignal considers countries with availability of 80% or higher to be an indication of a mature 4G market with widespread access to LTE.

Countries with a 4G availability score of 90% or higher are deemed as truly execptional on a countrywide level.