5G could solve major 4G congestion

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Ahead of 5G's global rollout, mobile analytic company Opensignal has published a new report analyzing 4G speeds worldwide to better understand how 5G will solve the congestion problems of today's 4G networks.

The firm's analysis of 77 countries has revealed the enormous extent to which 4G speeds drop during peak hours when the highest amount of users are on the smartphones.

Today's 4G networks suffer from huge fluctuations in speed throughout the course of a day and depending on the country, the 4G download speeds a user experiences at one hour could be as much as 30 Mbps faster than what they experience just a few hours later.

The most consistent countries of those analyzed by Opensignal formed a diverse list that included several countries in Asia and Europe as well as Qatar, South Africa and Canada.

Regional differences

In general, European countries landed higher in the ranks of the firm's consistency charts with fast average speeds and smaller fluctuations. The Czech Republic was the most consistent country in Europe and the difference between the best 4G download speed and worst speed over a 24 hour period was 20 percent.

In North America, the US and Canada differed greatly when it came to 4G speeds. Canada was among the fastest countries worldwide in terms of average speed and it was also among the most consistent while the US landed in the middle of Opensignal's consistency rankings.

The greatest differences in download speeds were seen in the Asia Pacific region with South Korea at 47.1 Mbps and Singapore at 45.4 Mbps while India (6.5 Mbps), Thailand (8.2 Mbps), Indonesia (9.6 Mbps), Cambodia (8.6 Mbps) and the Philippines (9.4 Mbps) struggled to reach even double digits.

Opensignal argues that 5G will provide a blanket of capacity that will help mitigate 4G congestion so that consumers can experience the best mobile download speeds possible.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.