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The fastest US tech hub in 4G is also the biggest US city

If you're looking to launch a new wireless startup that depends on fast mobile broadband speeds, then you might want to consider making New York City your new HQ. In an analysis of eight tech hub cities in the U.S., OpenSignal found the Big Apple averaged both the fastest 4G download speeds and the fastest 4G upload speeds.


Specifically we measured the average LTE download in the Big Apple at 25.2 Mbps in our latest 90-day test period starting March 16. That's nearly 9 Mbps faster than the U.S. 4G download speed average of 18.5 Mbps over the same timeframe. NYC's average 4G upload of 8.7 Mbps was also well above the national average of 5.9 Mbps. Boston came in second of the eight tech hubs we tested in 4G download speed with an average of 24 Mbps, while San Diego came in second in LTE upload speed with an average of 8.3 Mbps.

In general, though, almost all of the tech meccas of the U.S. did well in our speed metrics. The dual hearts of the U.S. tech scene, San Francisco and San Jose, along with Chicago, San Diego, and Seattle all had 4G download speed scores greater than 22 Mbps and 4G upload scores higher than 6 Mbps in our metrics. The one big exception was Austin. The tech capital of the Southwest performed rather poorly in both metrics. We measured 4G download average speeds of 16.8 Mbps and 4G upload average of 5 Mbps in the city – both falling short of the respective national averages.

We shouldn't be surprised, though, that the most populated cities in our tech hubs list were the ones to factor highest in our speed rankings. Last week, OpenSignal published its State of Mobile Networks report for the U.S. where we found speeds were rapidly rising in many of the big cities in the U.S. In New York City, Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis we recorded 4G download averages in excess of 30 Mbps on one or both of Verizon's and T-Mobile's networks. In Seattle and San Diego we measured Sprint's and AT&T's fastest individual 4G download speed scores respectively. The big cities are where the operators have focused their most recent capacity and LTE-Advanced upgrades. Consequently we're seeing the biggest 4G speed gains in those markets. And if those cities also happen to be tech hubs, then the tech community located in them only benefits.