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South Korea again leads the world in average 5G download speeds with 423.8 Mbps, followed by Norway at 355.3 Mbps and Taiwan at 320 Mbps, according to independent mobile analytics company Opensignal.

However, Opensignal notes that Taiwan maintains its top position on 5G maximum download speed.

Norway ranks first in terms of 5G download speed with users experiencing average speeds of 41.9 Mbps, ahead of Taiwan. While South Korea leads many global 5G categories, it is ranked ninth for 5G download speed.

A total of 12 European markets are in the top 15 for average 5G download speeds, including early 5G launch markets like Switzerland (4th) and Germany (14th).

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Opensignal says there is interesting competition between neighboring countries. New Zealand ranks higher than Australia in the global 5G download speeds chart, but their scores are statistically tied. In the Nordic markets, Norway (355.3 Mbps) is significantly ahead of Sweden (291.3 Mbps) and Finland (208.6 Mbps) with an average 5G download speed.

South Korea’s high speed continues to dominate when it comes to multiplayer mobile games and communication using voice apps. It has the highest score for 5G gaming experience of 91.2 on a 100-point scale, which is especially noteworthy given the popularity of games in South Korea. It also has the highest score for 5G voice app experience (84.6).

A European market offers the best 5G video experience: Sweden leads the world with a score of 83. South Korea has not reached the top 15 worldwide. Only two markets outside of Europe rank in the top 15: Singapore (80.8) and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (80.3). Of the five largest European markets – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – only Germany is in the top 15 in any of these categories. Germany ranks 9th for the 5G Games Experience and 13th for the other two.

Singapore earned a spot on all three of these 5G experiential metrics. It ranks third for 5G gaming experience, 12th for 5G voice app experience, and 14th for 5G video experience.

According to Opensignal, this is an impressive achievement given the challenges of 5G spectrum and the limited availability of new 5G spectrum capacity in Singapore and across the region.

Opensignal says that by examining how superior the 5G experience is to older 4G technology, different markets are emerging at the top.

The Philippines has the greatest increase in download speeds with average 5G download speeds 9.8 times faster than 4G.

Likewise, it tops the rankings for mobile video streaming with a 5G video experience score 34% higher than 4G. Israel is also featured in both increase graphs, with speeds 8.9 times faster using 5G, and users are seeing a 26% improvement in the video experience score. Thailand ranks fourth for increased download speed (7.5 times faster on 5G) and third for video streaming (25% better with 5G).

Even some of the fastest growing 5G markets are seeing a marked improvement over 5G. South Koreans enjoy an average 5G download speed 6.3 times faster than 4G, Taiwanese have 8.9 times faster, UAE users 7.4, and Swedes have a jump of 7.1 times.

5G is still in the deployment phase in most global markets but is becoming more and more common.

Users with a 5G smartphone and a 5G tariff plan spend more than a fifth of the time with an active 5G connection – 5G availability – in use on their smartphone in seven markets: South Korea, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Qatar, United States, and Taiwan. On 5G Reach, in the world’s top fifteen markets, users saw a 5G signal in more than a third of the locations they visited.

Opensignal states that users are seeing a wide range of 5G services with these results.

The United States ranks 6th for 5G availability and 4th for 5G reach. Canada, the second largest country in the world by land area, ranks 13th for 5G reach. Likewise, one of the geographically most important markets in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, ranks high in terms of 5G availability (3rd) and 5G reach (8th), while the vast Australia ranks 14th for 5G reach in the world.

The latest 5G Global Analysis once again highlights how 5G is accelerating improvements in the experience of mobile users around the world.

In 2022, Opensignal expects 5G to become an even more important part of life.

This first appeared in the CommsWire subscription newsletter on December 2, 2021.

Aurora J. William