Yes, your mobile Internet is very slow

Posted at 2:16 PM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 14:16:07-05

Some of the world’s richest countries are very poorly served with mobile Internet.

The U.S., U.K., and Germany are still lagging behind developing nations when it comes to 4G access and download speeds.

A report by consultancy OpenSignal found that American users have to put up with an average speed of just 13 Megabytes per second. That’s the 69th slowest in the world, and way behind countries such as Ecuador (25 Mbps), China and Kazakhstan (both 22 Mbps).

World leader Singapore boasts 46 Mbps. And the global average stands at 17.4.

While the U.S. ranks poorly in speed, it’s doing much better in terms of access. A typical user in the U.S. can get onto a 4G network 81% of the time. That puts the U.S. in 10th spot in the global ranking.

The U.K., by contrast, ranks just 54th in the world in terms of 4G availability. A typical user in Britain can only access 4G 58% of the time, behind Albania, Panama and Peru. Speed in the U.K. isn’t all that great either, although with 21 Mbps it is still doing better than the U.S.

A U.K. government advisory body warned Wednesday that the country risked being left behind.

“Our roads and railways can feel like digital deserts and even our city centers are plagued by not spots where connectivity is impossible…that isn’t just frustrating, it is increasingly holding British business back,” said Andrew Adonis, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission.

German users have a similar experience — they can access 4G 57% of the time, at average download speed of 20 Mb per second. That’s worse than Romania and Bulgaria.

The OpenSignal report shows that rich Asian countries have the best coverage in the world. South Korea and Japan are the only countries where users can expect to access 4G networks more than 90% of the time.