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Sweden Has World’s Fastest LTE Speeds; U.S. Rank 8th on Leaderboard

February 15, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

LTE has been a major factor in how we use the internet on the go, it’s made connecting to the internet wherever we are more common, and the speeds we’re getting over the airwaves now, are often better the internet speeds into the home. How many have you an LTE subscription that is faster than the subscription into your home? I thought I’d see a lot of hands go up. 4G LTE is awesome, and while the U.S. might have the best developed 4G networks, by no means is the fastest 4G Network in the Sates. That title belongs to Sweden.

UK firm, OpenSignal, has recently released findings from a study in which they looked at 4G networks across the world, and they make for some interesting reading. Sweden has the world’s fastest speeds, hitting an average of 22.1 mbps, which I’m sure is more than many of you get at home or at work. Hong Kong takes second with average speeds of 19.6, and Denmark rounds out the podium with 19.1 mbps average speed. The 9 networks ranked gradually decrease but, it takes a sharp dive when it reaches the U.S. and Japan with average speeds of 9.6 mbps and 7.1 mbps, respectively.

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One of the reasons these speeds are so low for Japan and the U.S. is perhaps down to the amount of people using the networks at any one given time, after all when’s the last time you went without being connected to the internet for less than an hour or so? Now factor in millions and millions of people always connected to the same network and there’s bound to some straining of networks.

The results could also offer a little more evidence of the mythical “spectrum crunch” carriers blame for everything. Throughout most of the World, networks managed to secure 40 Mhz of spectrum to get their 4G networks up and running. In the U.S. however, Verizon and AT&T have just 20 Mhz each to get 4G pumping out across the airwaves, with Sprint and MetroPCS being left with just 10 Mhz of spectrum. If you’ve not got as much spectrum as everyone else, you’re going to struggle to come even close to their speeds.

OpenSignal is based across the globe, and relies on crowdsourcing to obtain data on network speeds and more. You can join with their Android app, they’ve also expanded into WiFi as well.