Stuttgart is often credited as the home of the automobile, and the west German city remains the home of some of Europe's most powerful cars including Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Daimler. But Stuttgart is now showing its power in another sector where speed matters, racing into pole position as OpenSignal's top city in Germany for 4G download and upload.
In our analysis of 10 of Germany's largest cities, Stuttgart came top in both our LTE speed categories with an average download speed of 34.8 Mbps and an upload score of 11 Mbps. The city was followed fairly closely by Dusseldorf, which finished second in both our metrics with a score of 33 Mbps for 4G download and 10.4 Mbps for upload speed. Frankfurt also deserves a mention, as despite coming at the bottom of the 10 cities we analyzed for download, the Rhine-Main city came third in our 4G upload race with a score of 10.3 Mbps.
All ten of the German cities we examined passed the 25 Mbps post for average 4G download speeds. This was higher than the German national average speed of 22.7 Mbps we measured in our most recent global State of LTE report — but we would expect LTE speeds to be faster in urban areas, as operators focus network investment on areas of greater population density. Germany's national score was considerably above the global average of 16.9 Mbps, but the country has fallen behind the European leaders in the LTE race.
Germany's national 4G download score was distinctly mediocre for its region, as the country placed well into the bottom half of our European leaderboard, coming behind many arguably less mature markets including Albania, Armenia and Turkey. A number of larger countries seem to have been somewhat left behind in the mobile networks race, as Italy, France and the U.K. all appeared firmly in the bottom half of the European 4G speed leaderboard. One of the reasons for this underperformance may be the early development of powerful 3G networks in most of these countries, which were able to meet consumer data demands for longer. Although these countries have now embraced 4G, network rollouts have been slower than elsewhere, while investment has sometimes been disrupted by high levels of competition and resulting consolidations.
However, things look set to improve for Germany's mobile users. In our most recent Mobile Networks Update report for the country, we saw Telekom take the lion's share of our awards. There are also signs of growth in German mobile, particularly from O2, which recently installed 2,000 additional 4G base stations across the country in the third quarter of 2018 and upgraded existing locations with additional LTE capacities. But whether the Telefónica vehicle has the engine to catch the leaders Telekom and Vodafone remains to be seen.
Are you a 4G user in Germany? What's your experience of network speeds in the big cities? Let us know in the comments below or on our Twitter page.