Australia's average 5G mobile speed is outpacing 4G by 5.3 times: OpenSignal

Meanwhile, average upload speeds on 5G is nearly double of 4G.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

While 5G may still be in its infancy, OpenSignal has revealed that Australian users are already seeing a huge boost in mobile speeds when compared to 3G and 4G connections.

Based on data collected between 1 November 2020 to 29 January 2021, 5G average download speeds racked up 240.9Mbps when connected to 5G -- 5.3 times faster than the 45.3Mbps experienced on 4G.

The speed gap for average download speed between 3G and 4G was smaller at 39.3Mpbs, but still significant as 4G was still 7.5 times faster than the average 3G download speed of 6Mbps.

For the same period, users saw average 5G upload speeds hit 15.5Mbps, nearly double the upload speeds of 4G, which was only 8.2Mbps. The average 3G upload speeds, meanwhile, sat 1.3Mbps.

"[The] average 3G upload speeds were 6.1 times slower than those seen when connected to 4G. This indicates that currently, the 4G/5G uplift on average upload speeds is much less in percentage terms than the difference seen when moving from 3G to 4G," OpenSignal said.

When OpenSignal examined the experience smartphone users had for different activities, it rated this based on a scale that went from poor, fair, good, to very good, and then excellent.

For streaming video over mobile connections, the speed connection on both 5G and 4G were rated excellent at 81.5 points and 75.4 points, respectively. In contrast to 3G, which was only fair, scoring 53.8 points.

"An Excellent rating means that there was a very consistent experience across all users, video streaming providers and resolutions tested, with fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling," OpenSignal explained.

"On the other hand, placing in the fair category means that there was not a good experience either for higher resolution videos (very slow loading times and prolonged stalling) or for some video streaming providers. However, experience on lower resolution videos from some providers might have been sufficient."

Real-time multiplayer mobile gaming experiences on the different mobile technology generations were also examined, closely looking at latency, packet loss, and jitter.

Gaming on 5G just narrowly missed an excellent score, landing in at 84.5 points, just 0.5 points shy of an excellent mark. It is also only 7.9 points higher than the 4G games experience of 76.7 points. Both 5G and 4G games experienced placed them in the good category, which OpenSignal said means users deemed the experience acceptable.

The 3G game experience, on the other hand, was rated very poor at 36.4 points, with almost all users experiencing notable delays when they played games on the 3G network, OpenSignal said.

OpenSignal added that as 5G matures and mmWave 5G is introduced, the experience gap between 5G and 4G is likely to widen.

"In our analysis we are comparing 3G with 4G as the two technologies are today. Back when 4G was first launched, the mobile experience 'gap' between 3G and 4G would have been rather different," it said.

"Finally, once the majority of smartphone users are spending the majority of their time connected to 5G services, consumer app developers will develop their products to take full advantage of 5G's capabilities. Once that starts happening, the 4G/5G experience will become increasingly differentiated because some apps and services will require 5G."

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