How 5G will solve the congestion problems of today's 4G networks
February 2019

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
Kevin Fitchard
Principal Analyst
Francesco Rizzato
Senior Technical Analyst
Ian Fogg
VP Analysis

Key Findings

Across 77 countries studied, 4G Download Speeds are between 31.2 Mbps and 5.8 Mbps faster at the best hour of day compared with the slowest hour of the day

Congestion on current 4G networks is holding back speeds highlighting the need for new 5G capacity to relieve pressure. Opensignal’s* analysis uncovers that during the optimal time of day — usually when most users are asleep — networks are capable of enabling a significantly faster download experience than during awake hours.

Across the day, 42% of countries experienced speed variation of two times or more

In the U.S., the best 4G Download Speeds were 1.9 times faster in the late hours of night — when networks are quieter and most users are offline — than during the day and evening leisure hours, when networks most need to offer a great experience for their users. India's best 4G Download Speed was 3.9 times faster than the speed experienced at the slowest time of day.

5G will add new capacities to help with these wide time-of-day speed variations

5G won't just deliver faster speeds. 5G will provide a blanket of capacity, built using new highbandwidth, high-frequency spectrum bands that will help mitigate the daily cycle of congestion we see on today's 4G networks. These 5G services will support more simultaneous users at very fast speeds.

Even the fastest 4G countries need 5G to counter big drops in speeds at busy times

In the fastest two countries in Opensignal’s analysis, South Korea and Singapore, users experienced a speed gap of 13 Mbps between fastest and slowest hours, despite the two highest average 4G Download Speeds measured of 55.7 Mbps and 54.7 Mbps respectively.

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