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4G vs 5G Bandwidth Across the Globe

4G vs 5G: Bandwidth Across the Globe

A new generation of mobile technology has begun: 5G. As countries around the world begin to roll out 5G networks, we’ll be able to start measuring the speed differences between the new 5G networks and the existing 4G networks.
4G vs 5G Bandwidth Across the Globe

What’s the difference between 4G vs 5G?

“G” is short for “generation.” There have been 5 generations of mobile networks with the first 1G network launched back in 1979. Mobile technology has grown more advanced with each successive generation.

What is 4G?

4G was launched in 2010, and it’s well-established in most developed countries. Throughout the 2010s, you’ve most likely been using a 4G network on your mobile phone. Back when it was released, 4G was notable for being 3x faster than 3G.

What is 5G?

The very first 5G networks were launched in 2019. 5G networks are still being launched worldwide, so there are very few areas that have 5G connectivity. 5G is expected to be nearly 3x faster than 4G.
What makes 5G more powerful than 4G is that it uses a brand-new type of radio wave. To roll out 5G networks, radio towers must be refitted with sensors that can read the new wave, and consumers must also have 5G-compatible smartphones and tablets to enjoy 5G connectivity.

Fastest-recorded 5G speeds

Now that a handful of countries have begun to establish the first 5G networks, everyone wants to know how much faster it is than 4G and in which countries record the fastest 5G speeds.
United States of America (2.7x faster)
  • 4G: 678 Mbps
  • 5G: 1815 Mbps
Switzerland (2.6x faster)
  • 4G: 443 Mbps
  • 5G: 1145 Mbps
South Korea (1.7x faster)
  • 4G: 619 Mbps
  • 5G: 1071 Mbps
Australia (0.8x slower)
  • 4G: 950 Mbps
  • 5G: 1071 Mbps
United Arab Emirates (2.3x faster)
  • 4G: 292 Mbps
  • 5G: 665 Mbps
Italy (1.5x faster)
  • 4G: 428 Mbps
  • 5G: 657 Mbps
Spain (1x faster)
  • 4G: 596 Mbps
  • 5G: 602 Mbps
United Kingdom (1.3x faster)
  • 4G: 441 Mbps
  • 5G: 569 Mbps
Note that network speed is measured in Megabits per second (Mbps)
But numbers can be deceiving. A country’s network speed depends on several factors such as time of day, how many radio towers and compatible devices there are, how densely area networks are built, and how much network traffic there is.
It’s possible that a less populated country with less network infrastructure and network congestion could have faster network speeds. On the flip side, a highly populated country with more network infrastructure and network congestions could have slower network speeds.
Let’s take a look at 2018’s average 4G network speeds around the globe. This will give you a better picture of real global speeds.

North America

Canada
  • Average 4G speed: 32.90 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 82.38%
United States
  • Average 4G speed: 16.31 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 90.32%
Mexico
  • Average 4G speed: 23.35 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 76.95%

South America

Brazil
  • Average 4G speed: 19.67 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 61.26%
Bolivia
  • Average 4G speed: 15.72 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 73.52%
Colombia
  • Average 4G speed: 18.42 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 65.51%

Europe

United Kingdom
  • Average 4G speed: 23.11 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 77.28%
Hungary
  • Average 4G speed: 39.18 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 89.26%
Russian Federation
  • Average 4G speed: 15.77 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 65.08%

Asia

Iran
  • Average 4G speed: 13.73 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 69.26%
Hong Kong
  • Average 4G speed: 17.73 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 90.34%
South Korea
  • Average 4G speed: 40.44 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 97.49%

Africa

Morocco
  • Average 4G speed: 15.80 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 69.34%
Egypt
  • Average 4G speed: 16.68 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 45.43%
South Africa
  • Average 4G speed: 20.39 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 68.30%

Australia

Australia
  • Average 4G speed: 36.08 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 86.48%
New Zealand
  • Average 4G speed: 33.52 Mbps
  • 4G availability: 69.07%
Did you notice anything interesting? The countries with the widest network availability usually have the fastest network speeds. But that’s not true all the time – Hong Kong has a 90% 4G availability, but it has slower network speeds than other countries. This is probably because Hong Kong is very dense and has lots of traffic congestion, which could make the network speed slower.

What can we expect from 5G?

It’s tough to predict just how fast 5G will be because it’s only available in a few areas, and there still aren’t a whole lot of people using 5G. However, it’s clear from the early speed tests that 5G truly has the potential to double or triple your internet speed.

What are the benefits of 5G vs 4G?

5G is going to be substantially faster than 4G, and the extra speed could have a hugely positive impact on technology and society. 5G speeds can help:
  • Make the Internet of Things (IoT) more widespread
  • Give birth to new smart cities
  • Improve the safety of self-driving cars
  • Boost the responsiveness of virtual reality headgear, like the HP Reverb VR
Arguably the most exciting and impactful application of 5G will be how it’s integrated into smart cities. A “smart city” is a futuristic concept that’s quickly becoming a reality in the 21st century. A smart city would use IoT sensors and other technology to derive data. This can make it easier to do things like track water and energy usage, improve traffic flow, and monitor criminal activity.
Of course, a smart city with these capabilities would require a massive number of internet-connected devices to work quickly and fluidly. Just think - there’d have to be an IoT device located at every home, at all street lights, on the highways, in every neighborhood, and in city plumbing facilities.
There’s no way that a 4G network would be able to handle all these devices if they’re connected at once. But a 5G network could have the speeds and bandwidth to handle an extraordinarily large number of IoT devices.
But you’ll also get to enjoy 5G speeds for personal use. It won’t take nearly as long to send large files via your mobile device, and streaming will be faster than ever before.
While there are still plenty of questions to be answered about 5G networks, one thing seems clear: the world is about to be more interconnected than ever before.
4G vs 5G Bandwidth Usage Across the Globe
Intro: A new generation of mobile technology has begun: 5G. As countries around the world begin to roll out 5G networks, we’ll be able to start measuring the speed differences between the new 5G networks and the existing 4G networks.

What’s the difference between 4G and 5G?

It’s a G thing

  • “G” is short for “Generation”
  • There have been 5 generations of mobile networks since the first 1G network launched in 1979
  • The technology grows more advanced with each new generation

4G

  • Launched in 2010
  • Well-established in most developed countries
  • Was notable for being 3x faster than 3G

5G

  • Launched in 2019
  • Still being launched worldwide
  • Could be nearly 3x faster than 4G
5G uses a brand new type of radio spectrum. To roll out 5G networks, radio towers must be refitted with the new technology, and consumers must have 5G-compatible smartphones and tablets

Fastest recorded 5G speeds

A handful of countries have begun to establish the first 5G networks, so everyone wants to know how much faster it is than 4G, and which country has the fastest networks
Here are the fastest recorded 4G and 5G speeds in countries with limited 5G networks:
  • United States of America (2.7x faster)
    • 4G: 678 Mbps
    • 5G: 1815 Mbps
  • Switzerland (2.6x faster)
    • 4G: 443 Mbps
    • 5G: 1145 Mbps
  • South Korea (1.7x faster)
    • 4G: 619 Mbps
    • 5G: 1071 Mbps
  • Australia (0.8x slower)
    • 4G: 950 Mbps
    • 5G: 1071 Mbps
  • United Arab Emirates (2.3x faster)
    • 4G: 292 Mbps
    • 5G: 665 Mbps
  • Italy (1.5x faster)
    • 4G: 428 Mbps
    • 5G: 657 Mbps
  • Spain (1x faster)
    • 4G: 596 Mbps
    • 5G: 602 Mbps
  • United Kingdom (1.3x faster)
    • 4G: 441 Mbps
    • 5G: 569 Mbps
*Network speed measured in Megabits per second (Mbps) [1]

But numbers can be deceiving…

A country’s network speed depends on several factors:
  • Time of day
  • How many radio towers and compatible devices there are
  • How densely area networks are built
  • How much network traffic there is
It’s possible that:
  • Less populated country / less network infrastructure / less network congestion / faster network speeds
  • Highly populated country / more network infrastructure / more network congestion / slower network speeds
Let’s take a look at 2018’s average 4G network speeds around the globe. This will give you a better picture of real global speeds [2]

North America

  • Canada
    • Average 4G speed: 32.90 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 82.38%
  • United States
    • Average 4G speed: 16.31 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 90.32%
  • Mexico
    • Average 4G speed: 23.35 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 76.95%

South America

  • Brazil
    • Average 4G speed: 19.67 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 61.26%
  • Bolivia
    • Average 4G speed: 15.72 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 73.52%
  • Colombia
    • Average 4G speed: 18.42 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 65.51%

Europe

  • United Kingdom
    • Average 4G speed: 23.11 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 77.28%
  • Hungary
    • Average 4G speed: 39.18 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 89.26%
  • Russian Federation
    • Average 4G speed: 15.77 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 65.08%

Asia

  • Iran
    • Average 4G speed: 13.73 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 69.26%
  • Hong Kong
    • Average 4G speed: 17.73 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 90.34%
  • South Korea
    • Average 4G speed: 40.44 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 97.49%

Africa

  • Morocco
    • Average 4G speed: 15.80 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 69.34%
  • Egypt
    • Average 4G speed: 16.68 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 45.43%
  • South Africa
    • Average 4G speed: 20.39 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 68.30%

Australia

  • Australia
    • Average 4G speed: 36.08 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 86.48%
  • New Zealand
    • Average 4G speed: 33.52 Mbps
    • 4G availability: 69.07%

Did you notice anything interesting?

  • The countries with the widest network availability usually have the fastest network speeds
  • But that’s not always true – Hong Kong has 90% 4G availability, but relatively slower internet speeds than other countries
    • Likely because Hong Kong is very dense and has lots of traffic congestion

What can we expect from 5G?

It’s tough to predict just how fast 5G will be because:
  • It’s available in very few areas
  • There still aren’t a whole lot of people using 5G
However, it’s clear from the early speed tests that 5G truly can double or even triple your internet speed!

Here’s why 5G is going to be revolutionary

5G is so fast, it could:
  • Make the Internet of Things more widespread
  • Give birth to new smart cities
  • Improve the safety of self-driving cars
  • Boost the responsiveness of virtual reality headgear, like the HP Reverb VR
  • A smart city uses IoT sensors and other technology to connect the city and derive data, in order to:
    • Track water and energy usage
    • Improve traffic flow
    • Monitor criminal activity
The world is about to be more interconnected than ever before
[3] TechRepublic: Smart Cities: A Cheat Sheet

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