If you’re reading this article on your smartphone as you navigate Buenos Aires, that means it would have loaded faster if you were almost anywhere else in the world.
Argentina’s 4G mobile networks, long among the slowest in the region and the world, remain far behind the global standard in terms of speed and what seems like light years from the cutting edge.
A report released today shows that on average Argentina’s 4G networks clock in at speeds of 12.52 Megabits per second (Mbps), 80th out of the 88 countries surveyed and ahead only of Paraguay and Costa Rica in Latin America. The average global speed is 16.9 Mbps, with the highest average speed recorded in Singapore, a comparatively scorching 44.31 Mbps.
The OpenSignal report, which tracks mobile speed and availability data by measuring performance automatically with an app, notes however that Argentina’s 4G availability is comparably better. Users in Argentina had a success rate of 73.17 percent when trying to connect to 4G, placing it in the middle of the global pack.
For the 2018 State of LTE report, 58,752,909,949 datapoints were collected from 4,852,320 users around the world from October 1st to December 29th 2017.
According to Open Signal, Argentina’s 12.52 Mbps average speed fares poorly not only compared to the global average (16.9 Mbps) but also in comparison with other countries in the Americas included in its survey. As such, averages speeds were better in Panama (13.73 Mbps), El Salvador (14.74 Mbps) and Bolivia (15.72 Mbps) as well as the United States (16.31 Mbps), Peru (16.54 Mbps), Chile (16.91 Mbps), Uruguay (17.45 Mbps), Colombia (18.42 Mbps), Guatemala (18.86 Mbps), Brazil 19.67 (Mbps), Ecuador 23.29 (Mbps), and Mexico 23.35 (Mbps), Canada (32.90 Mbps).
Telecom providers in Argentina are nonetheless able to provide faster service than in Paraguay (11.31 Mbps) and Costa Rica (10.50 Mbps).
For comparison’s sake, the fastest speeds were in Singapore (44.31 Mbps), The Netherlands (42.12 Mbps) and Norway (41.20) and the slowest in India (6.07 Mbps), Algeria (8.65 Mbps) and Indonesia (8.92 Mbps).
In its analysis, OpenSignal “found that in the fastest countries average LTE download speeds have stalled at just over 45 Mbps. The industry is still waiting on that spark that will push speeds beyond 50 Mbps on a national level.”
While the report notes that there have been increases in average speeds in the last year, they have tended to be focused in countries like Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia, Lithuani and Canada. Looking forward, OpenSignal notes that “two years ago an average speed of 30 Mbps was unheard of except for in a handful of the advanced mobile countries. Now it’s an achievable milestone for most countries in the developed world. In a few years, 40 Mbps will likely become as an achievable a goal in those some regions.”
Many factors have an influence on network speeds, among them are. OpenSignal notes that they are how much spectrum is devoted to LTE, whether it has adopted new 4G technologies like LTE Advanced, how densely networks are built and how much congestion is on those networks. In general, though, the countries with the fastest speeds tend to be the ones that have built LTE-Advanced networks and have a large proportion of LTE-Advanced capable devices.
GETTING SEÑAL MORE OFTEN
Even if speeds are behind the global average, Argentina’s mobile networks do provide comparably more reliable access to 4G connections. That means better reception, or señal, more often. Nice.
Although still shy of the elusive 90 percent rate that only a handful of countries enjoy, Argentina’s 73.17 percent rate is better than Panama, Paraguay, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala (all of which are in the range of 72-65 percent), Brazil (61.26 percent), Costa Rica (58.45 percent), Ecuador (46.69 percent) and El Salvador (44.70 percent.) Uruguay (81.59 percent), Peru (78.67 percent), Mexico (76.95 percent) and Bolivia (73.52 percent) had better results than Argentina. Overall, that means Argentina is in the 48th spot out of 88 in terms of availability.
Both Brazil and Ecuador, with significantly higher average speeds than Argentina, were at the bottom of the availability rankings, contrasting with Uruguay – which became the first LatAm country to reach 80 percent availability while also achieving high speeds.