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The sorry state of LTE in America: U.S. falls to #55 in global speed rankings

Zach Epstein
September 24th, 2015 at 2:46 PM
LTE Speed Test

You know all of those commercials you see from the top four wireless carriers bragging about how fast their LTE data speeds are and how wide their LTE footprints are? There’s no question that LTE service has gotten better over the past few years, but you’ll be shocked to learn just how far behind the rest of the world America has fallen when it comes to LTE data speeds.

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A new report from OpenSignal paints a bleak picture of the state of 4G LTE in the United States as it compares to the rest of the world. The firm’s data was taken from 325,221 LTE users around the world during the three-month period from June 2015 through August 2015.

Where LTE download speeds are concerned, OpenSignal found that New Zealand had the fastest average speeds at 36Mbps. Singapore (33Mbps), Romania (30Mbps), South Korea (29Mbps) and Denmark (26Mbps) round out the top five.

So where does the U.S. sit on this list? All the way down at No. 55, just behind India, Mexico and Kazakhstan. All four countries have average LTE download speeds in the neighborhood of 10Mbps.

Hey, at least we beat Iran.

It’s not all bad news, though. OpenSignal found that U.S. wireless carriers are collectively delivering on their promise to aggressively expand coverage. The U.S. sits at No. 10 globally on the firm’s list of countries with the best LTE coverage, with about 78% of the country covered. South Korea tops the LTE coverage charts with 97% covered, followed by Japan (90%) and Hong Kong (86%).

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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