5G users in the UK have the world’s worst speeds

Opensignal graph showing UK's poor 5G performance
(Image credit: Opensignal.)

A new report from mobile testing company, Opensignal, has compared 5G speeds and experience of 5G networks around the globe, looking at 12 countries, including the US, UK, Australia, and South Korea.

Opensignal analyzed the real-world 5G experience of users across mobile operators in a number of countries globally, and developed a measure to understand the overall mobile experience of 5G users, which takes into account their average 5G and 4G download speeds as well as the time spent connected to each technology. 

“Our 5G users in the UK have the slowest overall ‘Download Speed Experience’ with a score of 32.6Mbps."

Opensignal report.

“For the first time, we are now comparing 5G users’ overall experience across 12 of the world’s leading 5G markets,” Opensignal said. “Our 5G users in the UK have the slowest overall ‘Download Speed Experience’ with a score of 32.6Mbps because the 4G experience greatly brings down the overall score.”

Opensignal graph 1.

(Image credit: Opensignal)

Measuring the metrics

The metric used to measure the results  – Download Speed Experience – also takes into account the average 3G and 4G download speed that 5G users see, as well as their average 5G download speed, as well as time connected to each type of network, to reveal the overall download speed experience.

“Globally, our 5G users in Saudi Arabia see the fastest overall average download speed, with a Download Speed Experience of 144.5 Mbps, ahead of Canada’s 5G users in second place with 90.4 Mbps,” the report said. “Strikingly, 5G Users in the country with the highest adoption of 5G to date, South Korea, rank just third.”

opensignal graph 2.

(Image credit: Opensignal.)

According to the report, the modest 5G speed in the US are due to a combination of the limited amount of new mid-band 5G spectrum that is available and the popularity of low-band spectrum.

“T-Mobile’s 600MHz and AT&T’s 850MHz [5G] offer excellent availability and reach, but lower average speeds than the 3.5GHz mid-band spectrum used as the main 5G band in every country outside of the US,” the report said. “However, Verizon’s mmWave-based 5G service offers very considerably faster average 5G Download Speeds of 494.7Mbps in our recent US report, which is faster than the average 5G download speeds Opensignal has seen on any operator, or in any country to date including Saudi Arabia.”

Dan Oliver

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.