Reports are indicating that when it comes to global LTE coverage, Asian nations are at the top, and the US ranks behind them. In the middle of the list are a huge number of European countries such as the UK and Germany. This is nothing new. On the other hand, when it comes to download speeds, some countries that rank high on the list are a surprise. This goes to show that sometimes it is better to wait until all the kinks are worked out before jumping into the game.
New Zealand is a prime example. The country launched its LTE networks just two years ago. However, when its download speeds were tested, the country outranked Singapore and South Korea. Another country that is a surprise to be ranked at the top of the list is Romania, a country which has access to LTE-Advanced and 4G networks on multiple bands.
Meanwhile, countries that introduced LTE when it first became available are seeing their data speeds demise by comparison. The US has impressive coverage for such a large nation. However, when its LTE speed was tested, it only recorded an average of 10 Mbps, placing the country between India and Indonesia.
All indications are that the older networks are becoming victims of their own success. When LTE was introduced in the US in 2010, it produced a huge base of subscribers, many who still use it today. The downside is that all these individuals are competing for usage on the same networks, which slows down the average speed time. Other countries that beat the US in download speed are Hungary, Morocco, and the Dominican Republic.
None of these places are smartphone paradises. In fact, while the download speed might be faster, most users are not able to get LTE usage, something that users in the US are able to get anytime they want. By comparison, newer networks in South America carry a lighter load. Though, South Korea has been able to keep up by expanding its coverage into new frequencies and raising its capacity. The US could do the same.