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The 5G Opportunity

The 5G Opportunity

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How 5G will solve the congestion problems of today's 4G networks


This report summarizes the consumer mobile experience with a focus on congestion problems of 4G networks around the world.

The report is based on 5.8 billion discrete measurements form 9.4 million individual devices, taken from 1st Jan 2018 to 31st Dec 2018. 

Around 77 countries studied in this report. The report finds that the average download speeds of 4G networks in these countries accounted between 31.2 Mbps and 5.8 Mbps. Moreover, the speed is witnessed to be faster during midnight at around 3 a.m. and slower during the morning hours at around 9 p.m.

In the US, 4G download speeds observed during late-night was 1.9 times faster compared to the morning working hours. Similarly, download speed in India was 3.9 times faster in midnights compared to the rush hours of the day. Additionally, the slow hours of the day varied from country to country but the fastest downloading hours typically experienced in midnight. Slowest hours were recorded at 6 p.m. in Singapore and Norway, while around 5 p.m. in the UK.

The speed deviation observed to be larger in cities. For instance, Paris 4G download speed fluctuations were largest globally, accounted between 21.5 Mbps and 51.4 Mbps during different hours of the day. Highest and lowest speed also varies a lot with regions. Such as, Seoul’s lowest speed of 40.6 Mbps was greater than London’s highest speed of 38.3 Mbps and many other cities around the world.

The report concluded that the 4G is stressed to provide a reliable user experience. There is an intense need for 5G networks to sustain the development of future mobile applications. Even the fastest 4G speed countries need 5G networks for more consistent speeds.


Key Findings

World 4G speeds vary tremendously across the day showing the impact of congestion on daytime speeds

4G is struggling to deliver a consistently good mobile experience

Users experience a wide range of download speeds at different hours

Even the fastest countries have big swings in speed

Difference in 4G Download Speed experienced between the fastest and the slowest hour of the day

Today's 4G networks are performing far from consistently

Countries’ ranking by 4G Download Speed experienced at fastest hour

Evening is slowest time of day most likely because of entertainment usage

Time of day when 4G Download Speeds experienced are slowest

Cities often experience the biggest speed swings of all

Cities will benefit even more from new 5G capacity because users experience an even wider range of 4G speeds



Researchfinder Rating
5 out of 5 stars
The 5G Opportunity
How 5G will solve the congestion problems of today's 4G networks
Feb. 15, 2019
Kevin Fitchard, Francesco Rizzato, Ian Fogg


Number of Pages
Number of Tables
Number of Exhibits
mobile, networks
4G, 5G, 5G deployment, mobile, mobile phone, networks
Kevin Fitchard, Francesco Rizzato, Ian Fogg
Quantitative data for mobile internet user experience collected from millions of smartphone around the world during 2018. The data consisted of billions of discrete measurements recorded form millions of devices. Confidence Intervals used for statistical data calculation.

This report provides a detailed overview of the congestion problems of 4G networks in around 77 countries.


  • Detailed and real-time quantitative data provides detailed insight for the mobile internet providers to build their future strategy for 5G.
  • Good infographics are making it easy to understand the concept.

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