Brazilian 4G availability improving slowly

The country is underperforming in terms of reach, but speed is improving, says report.

Brazil continues to underperform in LTE reach, ranking in the bottom 10 of 88 countries in 4G availability, according to stats from wireless coverage mapping firm OpenSignal, released yesterday.

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In the company's Brazil report last November, 4G accessibility was considered "quite poor" in the country with two operators unable to deliver a 4G connection more than half the time.

This year, the company noted some improvement in network availability in the country. It found that its testers on the network operated by Telecom Italia's TIM found a 4G connection more than 70 percent of the time, and all of Brazil's national operators had availability scores "well over 50 percent."

Several South American neighbors are ahead of Brazil when it comes to availability, such as Colombia (71th in the ranking), Chile (63rd) and Argentina (48th). At the top of the ranking is South Korea, where 4G coverage sits at 97.49 percent, followed by Japan (94.70 percent) and Norway (92.16 percent).

However, Brazil is faring better in speed, averaging 4G downloads of 19.7 Mbps, surpassing even the US, according to OpenSignal's latest report.

"LTE download speeds have clearly improved in Brazil since our last report and they compare favorably to other Latin American countries,"the report says.

Overall, Brazil ranks 52nd in the overall OpenSignal speed ranking, ahead of other South American countries listed such as Uruguay (58th), Chile (59th) and Argentina (80th).