Brazil beats US in 4G video quality

For the first time, the video experience through mobile networks reaches acceptable levels, says Opensignal

The quality of 4G video in Brazil is now better than the experience users have in the United States, according to a new global study by mobile analytics firm Opensignal.

Compared to last year's report, video experience improved in 59 of the 100 countries analyzed in the report, and Brazil had an evolution of 6.4 points. This means that, for the first time, Brazil entered the list of countries where quality is considered to be good.

On the other hand, US consumers have seen a slight improvement, but 4G video quality is considered fair. Americans had the lowest score across G7 countries - according to the report, this reflects the struggle of US carriers around the combination of huge video consumption and insufficient mobile spectrum.

This is an issue the US shares with other major mobile markets, such as South Korea and Canada. According to the report, both countries have some of the fastest download speeds in the world, but rank 21st and 22nd, respectively, in 4G video experience.

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"This difference in performance is a reflection of how operators are managing to prevent large amounts of video data from clogging their networks, impacting the use of other mobile services," says Ian Fogg, VP at Opensignal Analytics.

Other South American countries have seen an improvement in 4G video experience, according to Opensignal. In Uruguay, where service provision is also considered to be good, there has been an improvement of 14 points in relation to the performance seen in 2018, according to the report.

"South America is a booming market, and that is clear from all our reports. The 4G spectrum has been growing in some countries, and that enables an evolution in the quality that users enjoy when watching a video," Fogg points out.

When it comes to countries where 4G video quality is considered to be excellent, six countries have been listed in the report: Norway, Czech Republic, Austria, Denmark, Hungary, and the Netherlands.

According to a separate Opensignal report from August 2019, Brazil - in particular the city of São Paulo - has the best 4G speed in Latin America.

Download speeds were measured across six major Latin American cities for the report - Bogota, Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City, Santiago and São Paulo - which found the Brazilian megalopolis has the fastest 4G download rate at 21.3 Mbps.