Saudis enjoy world’s fastest 5G experience

Image courtesy of Opensignal

5G users in Saudi Arabia see the fastest download speeds based on metrics developed by Opensignal, which analysed the real-world experience across mobile operators in 12 leading markets across the globe.

Opensignal measured user’s “Download Speed Experience,” which takes into account their average 5G and 4G download speeds as well as the time spent connected to each technology.

Their analysis shows that Saudis enjoy 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. 

South Korea, where there is the highest adoption of 5G so far — ranks just third. 5G users in the United Kingdom have the slowest at 32.6 Mbps, pulled down by the relatively slow of 4G there.

“When considering the average download speed using 5G technology we see a very different story,” said Ian Fogg, VP Analysis at Opensignal. “While Saudi Arabia remains in first place, South Korea jumps to second place with average 5G Download speeds of a staggering 312.7 Mbps — over five times faster than South Korea’s already fast 4G speeds.”

Americans make do with modest 5G Download Speeds 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. These 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 United States.

The US is much higher ranked on 5G Availability than on average download speed because the low-band spectrum is ideally suited to enable great 5G reach and allow users to spend more time connected than in countries with higher frequency 5G spectrum.

Further, the amount of time users spend connected to 5G — 5G Availability — is an important factor in the overall experience 5G users enjoy.

“We are still in the early stages of a 5G era that will last for at least a decade because the first 5G services launched only in 2019, and in a number of countries we continue to see 5G services aimed at smartphone users launching for the first time,” said Fogg.