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LTE speed varies across global markets 

Avner Motaev writes about LTE across the world.

Recent research has pointed towards differing standards for Long-Term Evolution (LTE) globally – eastern Asian nations lead the way, while Europe is divided by strong and weak categories, with the UK languishing in the former category.

I’ve decided to look further into the news and examine why the differences are present.

What is LTE?

Avner Motaev
Standards vary globally

Firstly, however, an explanation of Long-Term Evolution standards.

According to Wikipedia, LTE is:

“…a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals.”

This means that LTE isn’t specifically a network itself, but a standard that networks hold themselves up to in order to deliver optimum service to their customers.

The standard is a mainly European development, trademarked by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. Despite this, telecommunications companies and organisations and official bodies from other parts of the world.

The Wikipedia article goes on to state that:

The goal of LTE was to increase the capacity and speed of wireless data networks.”

This further points towards LTE’s role as a global standard for mobile networks.

The research

With this in mind, the research carried out by OpenSignal has indicated that the standard has variations across the world. This conclusion was drawn as a result of the analysis of 350,000 mobile users globally between Q3 and Q4 2015.

Singapore leads the world in regards to coverage, while the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was at the top for download speeds.

In Europe, standards were set by the Netherlands, Hungary and Denmark in terms of network data transfer speeds (Mbps). The United Kingdom languished in 55th of 69 countries assessed.

The reasons for this are specified in OpenSignal’s report, which highlighted increased investment in LTE networks by strong countries such as Singapore and Denmark, as well as a second feature:

“The second trend is what we like to refer to as the ‘new network effect’. 

New networks tend to be light on subscribers, but as operators sign up more 4G customers, speeds slow down as more devices compete for LTE resources.”

Clearly, there are different tiers for LTE standards globally – even regions vary greatly.

Avner Motaev

Avner Motaev is the director of Mobile2Business, a provider of telecommunications solutions to businesses in Austria. Mobile2Business is an official business partner of T-Mobile

Published in Avner Motaev Mobile technology