P3 DATA SPEED REPORT USA
WHAT SPEED DO MOBILE USERS REALLY GET?
The US mobile networks are fast. At least, that’s what we hear every day. But does this reflect the actual user experience? Not always.
In order to understand why the user’s experience sometimes differs from the carriers’ advertisements, we have made a thorough analysis examining the actual speed of data transmissions while consumers use their smart-phones in real life.
Looking at what is happening in reality is very important. How long does it take to drive from home to work very much depends on both road and traffic conditions as well as on the hour of commuting. Asking how fast is your mobile network, will probably lead to the same answer: It depends. Here, the speed experience is related to the general speed capability of the mobile network, to the tariff used plus many other effects. We aim to bring more transparency into the discussion about speed.
NETWORK TOP SPEED
From the network’s perspective, it is important what top downlink speed a user can achieve when there is no limitation on the user’s side, e.g. due to device capabilities or tariff restrictions. This is because carriers invest a lot in frequency spectrum, network densification and in upgrading the networks to the latest technology – like carrier aggregation to enable faster data transmissions. The Network Top Speed is a result of network capabilities and coverage, and consequently very much depends on where you use your smartphone. The speed a network shows in one part of the city is not necessarily the same in another part of the city. Therefore, for benchmarking the networks we look at the fastest speed achieved by any user at a measurement location and then do a statistical analysis of all measurement locations in a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) with 472,760,281 samples.
The map shows the different MSAs and marks the leading carrier with respect to network top downlink speed capabilities. The top speeds achieved, averaged over all MSAs, are shown in the bar chart.