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U.S. snags the fourth spot in global 4G availability rankings

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Which country has the best 4G availability? Unsurprisingly, it’s South Korea. The U.S. takes fourth place, according to the OpenSignal‘s latest State of LTE report. The U.S. moved up six spots from last quarter’s report, where it was ranked 10th.

OpenSignal is a company that monitors the performance of mobile networks through crowdsourced data with the OpenSignal app. The app compares the performance of networks in surrounding areas, and tests the speed of mobile connections. The report collected 19 billion measurements from more than half a million mobile devices this year from January 1 to March 31. The analysis highlights 4G availability, 4G LTE speed, and how other countries ranked in comparison.

While mobile industries have been hinting toward moving over to 5G, 4G is still seeing a large amount of activity all across the globe, with countries like South Korea scoring the highest in 4G availability, and India seeing a significant surge in ranking with the launch of the 4G data plan Jio nationwide.

The U.S. has jumped considerably in 4G availability — which measures the consistency of how accessible 4G networks are throughout the country — with T-Mobile having expanded its coverage to 81.2 percent, and other operators like AT&T and Verizon ranging from 82 to 86 percent.

Even though the U.S. ranks high in availability, it ranks extremely low for 4G speed — coming in at number 59. A country’s 4G speed depends on a variety of factors — new 4G technologies, how the networks are built, and the amount of congestion on those networks — and the U.S. is trailing behind developing countries.

The best performers in speed are Singapore, South Korea, and Hungary, and they’re continuing to push LTE to its technological limits. Typical download speeds in these countries range from 38 to 45 Mbps. The U.S. comes in at a mere 15 Mbps, which is lower than last quarter’s 16.2 Mbps.

Although the U.S. was among the first countries to adopt 4G, progress in improving speed is extremely reliant upon the economy, regulations, and technology that vary from country to country.

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