World's first countrywide 5G test returns real-life speeds
The good news is that Verizon doesn't charge extra for 5G connectivity, at least for now, but that doesn't alter the fact that there is a million-strong 5G army in Korea ready for the countrywide 5G network speed tests. This is exactly what the researchers from OpenSignal did, and they just sent us the world's first real-life 5G network performance report. We know what you are waiting on the most, and will give it to you straight away.
The first real-life 5G download test returns 112 Mbps average speeds, or 5x the average LTE speeds in the US
- Overall, 111.8Mbps is a far cry from the 1.17Gbps people are measuring on a single device 500 feet away from a 5G cell site in Chicago, but this number is an average from automatic/background testing that is endorsed by official bodies like the FCC. It illustrates speeds across times, locations, near spotty areas and ideal locations, at home, in transit, etc.
- In addition, maximum download speeds experienced by 5G smartphone users in South Korea are much faster than the average download speeds. For example, in the U.S., Opensignal has already measured maximum speeds as high as 1.2 Gbps even without widespread 5G adoption. South Korean users are seeing maximum speeds of 988 Mbps, which is 8.8 times as fast as users’ average real-world speeds of 111.8 Mbps.
- Meanwhile, 5G users in South Korea are seeing average 5G upload speeds of only 13.9Mbps, which is actually lower than 16Mbps on 4G flagships. Latency 5G users in South Korea are seeing is 35.9 milliseconds (ms) for 5G and 37.4ms for flagship 4G phones.
- This upload and latency finding is what Opensignal expected at this early stage of 5G, because initial 5G technology does not yet seek to improve either characteristic. At the moment, 5G smartphone users connect to both a 4G spectrum band and a 5G New Radio (NR) band simultaneously in what is called Non-Standalone Access mode. Effectively, the system is using 5G for raw download bandwidth, but uses 4G for other network functions.