Canada just misses top ten world’s fastest mobile networks, says OpenSignal

The state of mobile networks around the world isn’t what you’d expect.

OpenSignal recently released yet another Global State of Mobile Networks report, only rathe than LTE, this study highlights the prevalence and accessibility of both 4G and 3G networks. The results provide a much clearer picture of the mobile networks of various countries where 4G is hard to come by.

This report revealed that South Korea has the highest overall mobile network speed at 41.34 Mbps with 3G or 4G networks available 98.54 percent of the time. Canada barely came in tenth place with 3G or 4G networks available 93.51 percent of the time. In terms of speed, Canada dropped down to 14th place with an overall speed of 18.31 Mbps.

3G or better OpenSignal

In January, an OpenSignal report found Bell to have the fastest Canadian mobile network, followed by Rogers and then Telus. However, Rogers won in a single category outright by offering LTE signals in over 80 percent of the country.

Regarding every country’s full spectrum of mobile performance – which takes into account speed and 3G/4G availability – Canada falls behind countries such as Australia, Singapore, South Korea and Japan though still manages to lead the pack.

What’s interesting about this report in comparison to previous studies is the” Time Spent on WiFi” segment, which offers a clear look at how much time residents spend on WiFi in comparison to mobile networks. WiFi is often much faster than mobile networks

Time on WiFi OpenSignal

In this section, Canada also comes tenth at 59.52 percent of time on mobile spent on Wi-Fi, just below Belgium and the United Kingdom. In contrast however, the United States not only fell to behind Canada in this section with 53.08 percent of time spent on WiFi, but in every other section as well.  In the United States, 3G/4G networks are available 91.69 percent of the time, and overall network speeds are approximately 12.34 Mbps.

The report goes on to provide a map to demonstrate the most advanced mobile networks based on country. The map can be interchanged to view the results on the basis of overall speed, 3G/4G availability and time on WiFi. In looking at this map, it’s clear that the network speed experienced by the vast minority of dark-blue coloured countries does not represent the circumstances in most of the world.

Canada falls clearly in the blue, though it’s not among the world’s fastest mobile networks of South Korea, Australia, Hungary and Norway.

Overall Speed OpenSignal

However, it’s clear from these results that 3G and reliable WiFi are available in some capacity in almost every country in the world. Of the 95 countries surveyed, all but two had access to a 3G network over half of the time. Of the 95 countries surveyed, 23 were able to provide access to at least a 3G network over 90 percent of the time. It’s important to note however, that there’s a huge difference between the slowest 3G network and the fastest 4G network.

For this particular report, across 95 countries, 12,356,994,498 datapoints were collected from 822,556 users between May 1st and Jul 23rd 2016. All data was collected from iOS and Android devices using the OpenSignal mobile app.

Related reading: CRTC confirms Canadians pay more than everyone else in international telecom price study