Australia is well known for its love of sport. This summer, their cricket team are playing away in England and Zimbabwe, the rugby team host Ireland, while the football team are hoping to get beyond the group stages at the World Cup in Russia (they reached the last 16 in OpenSignal's own World Cup of mobile networks).
And more and more fans will be enjoying and interacting with their favorite teams via mobile devices. Over 8 billion digital interactions are expected during the World Cup, and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has 128 million followers on Instagram alone. An increasing part of the sports fan experience is sharing your passion for your team on social media, via Facebook photos, Tweets and video uploads.
But how are Australia's mobile networks expected to perform with a summer of sports uploading? OpenSignal took a look at our measurements for average 4G upload speeds for the country's three national operators in the previous three months – and the winner was something of a surprise.
Our measurements showed that Telstra led the pack for 4G upload speeds in Australia, averaging 10.6 Mbps, followed by Vodafone with 7.8 Mbps and Optus on 6.8 Mbps. This was a little surprising, since it was Vodafone who dominated our download speed awards in our latest Mobile Networks Update report on the country. While operator upload and download speeds aren't dependent on each other, they're both linked to a network's total capacity, so we would generally expect to see a correlation. But Telstra was only a couple of megabits behind Vodafone's average 4G download speed in our last report, and has significantly beat its rival in 4G upload.
Upload speeds are typically slower than download speeds, as current mobile broadband technologies tend to be focused on providing the best possible download speed for users consuming content. But as mobile internet trends move away from downloading and consuming to uploading and creating content, upload speeds are becoming more and more important.
Australia's operators have a pretty impressive record when it comes to 4G speeds. All three major operators averaged 4G download rates greater than 33 Mbps in our most recent Australia report, and we measured the national average across all Australia's networks at 36.1 Mbps in OpenSignal's recent State of LTE report. This was over double the global 4G download average of 16.9 Mbps, and put Australia firmly in the top 10 of the countries we analyzed.
We expect that operators could soon start tweaking their networks to differentiate their 4G services in terms of upload as consumer behaviour shifts from content consumption to content creation. As such, we'll be examining 4G upload speed data scores and trends more closely in our reports and on our blog. So be sure to keep up to date!