Global LTE speeds and 'time on': probably not what you expect
© Open Signal
Interesting stats from ‘OpenSignal’ on the relative performance of LTE networks worldwide. Obviously the crowd-pleaser (or not) was to gather stats and assign national bragging rights according to which country’s networks were the fastest.
It’s a big sample: OpenSignal says it took data from its 11 million users who have LTE plans over a three month period (10/14 to 1/15).
“We found that not all LTE networks are created equal, with big differences between countries and networks,” says OpenSignal (see speed chart above). The rather large differences between countries (Spain returning three times the average speed of LTE in the US), might have a lot to do with user loading - US being a more mature LTE market simply has more users contesting the available spectrum. But then there’s cell density too. A network with fewer users per cell (because there are more cells) would theoretically return better speed figures.
It’s well worth interacting with Open Signal’s online charts which enable the viewer to dig down to display individual network rankings, for instance.
© Open Signal
Speed, of course, is not everything, so Open Signal has also qualified raw speed with the sample’s average time spent on LTE, which gives clues to other metrics affecting users’ individual broadband ‘quality of experience’.
OpenSignal claims 'Time on' is its proprietary metric for looking at coverage, based on user experience rather than geography. “Coverage is most important where users actually spend their time, especially for LTE (as it provides a layer of service that is nonessential for emergencies, unlike voice or basic internet connection). Our metric looks at the proportion of time a user has access to the LTE network, which gives a more accurate look at how real-world users are being served by their provider,” it says.
It also might indicate how well users are being served indoors - low ‘time-on’ might be a sign that users just default to WiFi in their homes and offices either because they can’t get signal or because they are anxious to stay under their LTE cap where this applies. Obviously we’re viewing the ‘free’ data on LTE usage - no doubt Open Signal has many more insights it’s held back.
Get more info at OpenSignal.com