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Analyzing download speeds in business locations

Business users were the first adopters of mobile phones in the 1980s and early 1990s. More recently, over the last decade the typical mobile user has been a consumer with the arrival of the modern smartphone. But mobile services have remained extremely important to business and more and more businesses have relied on mobile service to operate, especially during the many challenges of the last year.

For example, we have seen the increasing popularity in contactless payments and the use of mobile wallets like Google Play and Apple Pay, which has driven the adoption of mobile point of sale (POS) across businesses. Also, following the COVID-19 pandemic we observed a sharp rise in flexible working policies among employers, resulting in more remote working by employees and greater use of collaborative working tools. Now more and more businesses rely on mobile networks for their daily activities.

Opensignal analyzed smartphone users’ download speeds in business locations across six countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S. We used a classification for business and commercial buildings to calculate smartphone users’ mobile experience when they were in the proximity of buildings such as offices, factories, warehouses and other commercial premises. In most countries, we found that our users had on average a better experience in these locations compared to the national average we have observed previously in the latest Opensignal Mobile Network Experience report for each country. We also observed several instances where the mobile experience divide across operators was much larger in business locations, for example in Australia and Canada.

Our smartphone users’ average download speed in Canada’s business locations reached 91.9 Mbps on Telus and 89.8 Mbps on Bell, with the two scores being statistically similar. Our smartphone users on Rogers on average experienced download speeds of 73.5 Mbps, which were 16.3 Mbps and 18.5 Mbps lower compared to the scores seen using Bell and Telus. Interestingly, the operators’ difference in download speeds was much larger across business locations compared to the national Canadian experience we observed in the latest Opensignal Canada report, where Rogers lagged behind Bell and Telus by 9.5 Mbps and 12.9 Mbps, respectively.

In the U.S., our smartphone users on AT&T, on average, saw the fastest download speed of 37.6 Mbps when in business locations. On the other hand, their peers on T-Mobile and Verizon on average experienced 34.5 Mbps, and 31.1 Mbps, respectively, in those same locations.

In our analysis of mobile download speeds across business locations in Germany, Telekom has an edge on Vodafone and O2 by scoring 62.2 Mbps. In fact, our Telekom users saw average download speeds that were 29.8 Mbps and 19.1 Mbps faster than the scores observed using O2 and Vodafone, respectively, in the same business locations.

Our users on WindTre saw the fastest average download speeds of 37.3 Mbps across Italian business locations. Our users on Iliad and Vodafone on average experienced a statistically similar download speed of 31.5 Mbps and 31.1 Mbps in business locations, respectively, while their peers on TIM saw 27.8 Mbps.

When we looked at Australia, we found that Telstra’s lead in download speed was much larger in the business locations compared to what we observed in our latest Australia report. In fact, while Telstra commanded a lead of 9.1 Mbps (23.2%) over second-placed Vodafone at the national level, that gap more than doubled in absolute terms to 18.8 Mbps (42.3%) when we focused on the average download speeds in business locations.

Finally, our smartphone users’ average download speed in Japan’s business locations reached 47.8 Mbps on NTT DoCoMo and 45.4 Mbps on au. Our smartphone users on SoftBank on average experienced download speeds of 38.7 Mbps, while their peers on Rakuten on average saw download speeds of 19 Mbps when in business locations.