The State of Wifi vs Mobile Network Experience as 5G Arrives

November 2018

Opensignal is the independent global standard for analyzing consumer mobile experience. Our industry reports are the definitive guide to understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.

Real-world experience
Scientific analysis
Ian Fogg
VP Analysis

Key Findings

In 33 countries smartphone users now experience faster average download speeds using a mobile network than using Wifi

The range of countries where mobile proves faster vary widely from richer countries such as Australia, where the benefit of using mobile was greatest where smartphone users experienced average download speeds 13 Mbps faster on mobile than Wifi, and France (+2.5 Mbps) to markets across every continent, including Qatar, Turkey, Mexico and South Africa.

5G will accelerate the advantage of mobile technology

5G will accelerate the advantage of mobile technology because of the pace of mobile innovation and the dependency of Wifi network experiences on the quality of fixed network broadband deployments which are slow and expensive to upgrade with fiber to the premise (FTTP).

Newer mobile network technology increases mobile’s superiority

In 50 countries, 63% of those studied, 4G networks offer a faster smartphone download experience than Wifi, up from 41% of countries when compared with overall mobile download experience instead of 4G. Just seven countries saw a faster experience on 3G, and even in those countries, the speed advantage of a 3G mobile experience was modest, at best an increase of 3Mbps in Lebanon.

Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA buck the global trend

In three highly developed geographies – Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA – the mobile experience bucks the global trend and significantly underperforms compared with smartphone users’ Wifi download experience with a slower mobile experience of -38.6 Mbps, -34 Mbps and -25 Mbps respectively.

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