Photo via Mendoza Post.

All anybody seems to care about today is being on his or her cellphone. What happened to the sun-drenched afternoons spent running in the open air? Or reading a book under the shade of a tree – only to then cool-off under the soft current of a nearby stream? Well, Argentina, perhaps those days aren’t forever lost…because you’re officially one of the worst countries for 4G LTE coverage – and frankly, there’s no choice but to accept some ridiculously slow cell service.

Yes, Argentina ranked 65 out of 68 countries for best 4G LTE coverage – with only the Philippines, Ecuador and Sri Lanka following behind.

4G or LTE (Long Term Evolution – or an overly-hyped use of tech-nerd jargon) is measured by two variables: coverage and speed. To give you an idea of where Argentina falls within this system: New Zealand has the fastest network at 36 megabits per second compared to 12 mbps in Argentina. In terms of coverage, South Korea has the highest coverage rate at 99.6 percent while Argentina comes in strong at 42 percent. Now mix the slow speed and lousy coverage together and you’ve got yourself a very bad cocktail.

Photo via Clarin.
Photo via Clarin.

So what exactly accounts for a terrible ranking when it comes to 4G coverage? It has to do with the number of those covered; the lower the coverage, generally the faster the speed. It’s like traffic – the fewer cars, the more one can “open that baby up!” And when cars outnumber the uncovered pavement on a highway, the slower one moves/is more likely to pee into a water bottle.

Argentina is stuck in that horrible rush-hour traffic so that there aren’t so many cars but enough so that everyone is still moving slow as fuck. An important note to keep in mind is that coverage isn’t based on geographical use but rather time spent on the network. When operators add subscribers who in turn “compete” for the same network resources, the average speeds slow down. So while New Zealand ranks first in network speed, it also ranks 49th in coverage.

Photo via Clarin.
Photo via Clarin.

There is a trend in increased coverage leading to decreased network speed, as experienced in the US, Japan, Sweden and Germany according to Brendan Gill, CEO of OpenSignal. South Korea and Singapore are considered to be at the forefront of LTE technology because while coverage ranks at the top of the list, network speed remains high as well. South America and Europe are currently growing quite fast for 4G LTE coverage.

The Ministry of National Planning in Argentina only opened bidding and licensing for 4G service late last year. Hence this year saw more than two million subscribers and that number is projected to grow immensely in the years to come.

2.7 million Argentines are currently under 4G coverage – mostly under Movistar, which has the best 4G coverage, followed by Personal and Claro. By June 2016, 4G LTE should cover every provincial capital. What will happen to the already slow network speed remains to be seen.

There’s still time to just accept the awful ranking and return to nature! More likely, Argentina will go all out in striving for the gold medal of 4G LTE coverage and Argentines will become progressively angrier while waiting for their texts to send.