Mobile faster than wi-fi in many countries

November 27, 2018

Download speeds across mobile networks are now faster than wi-fi in many countries, research suggests.

Speed tests in 80 countries revealed wi-fi was left lagging in 33 nations, according to wireless coverage mapping company OpenSignal.

Mobile data should also get a further speed boost when 5G networks arrived, it said.

Wi-fi remained the fastest way to go online in most countries surveyed, including the UK and Ireland.

But OpenSignal noted that because anyone could set up a wi-fi network in a location already used by others, performance could suddenly lag due to “congestion” of the airwaves involved.

By contrast, mobile networks have to license the spectrum they use, so in theory, the company said, they should deliver a more consistent experience.

“The perception that mobile networks are inferior to wi-fi has persisted, wrongly,” wrote analyst Ian Fogg in the report.

Australians enjoy the greatest advantage over wi-fi, with mobile download speeds being on average 13Mbps faster. Other nations in a similar position included Qatar, France, Mexico, Turkey and South Africa.

Places where wi-fi was on average more than twice the speed of mobile data included Hong Kong, the US, Thailand, Israel and Russia.

In the UK, wi-fi was about 60% faster than mobile because, said the report, its mature fixed network helped data get to hotspots and on to users quickly.

The differences in network speeds were more pronounced when only the latest 4G networks were taken into account.

BBC