Plenty Of Signal Interference In The Test Results
To make a long story short, with so few devices connecting to 5G networks the rate of data transfer is much higher than 4G. For those who recall the roll out of 4G, the story was the same up until it was widely deployed at which point the speeds settled at much lower albeit easier to predict speeds. This will also be true of 5G eventually, though there will still be extra considerations as not all 5G is the same.
The fun comes from there being several different bandwidths being used for 5G, with the FR1 spectrum being the same 600MHz and 4.7GHz bands that current technologies use, and FR2 which encompasses bands in the 24GHz to 40GHz range and tend to be what most think of when they talk about the higher bandwidths of 5G networks. Of all of the networks that OpenSignal tested from the US, UK, South Korea and Australia only Verizon has actually set up an FR2 network.
The difference is stark when you look at average download speeds which range from a hair over 500Mbps on Verizon to not quite 50Mbps on T-Mobile. In all cases the bandwidth on 5G was superior to that on 4G and it is worth noting SK telecom’s 4G is the best tested at 63.7 Mbps, their 5G is towards the top of the pack at 220.6Mbps. Sadly even they cannot hit the rated speeds of 4G, which are 100Mbps for moving connections and 1Gbps when you are stationary.
Telecomm analytics firm OpenSignal released a report last week analyzing the connection experience of 5G users across the world, on ten different providers. Unfortunately—and typically for 5G—the source data is so muddled that it's difficult to draw meaningful conclusions from the results.
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