How 5G speeds compare across the globe—and why they differ

5G cellular networks are one of the most-hyped broadband technologies in the last decade. They’re designed to make cellular networks more efficient and reallocate more of the spectrum to data than to voice capabilities, increasing throughput. And 5G add-ons like mmWave promise superfast performance when you are very close to a cellular tower. But do they really make a difference on user devices that businesses use both for their own staff’s work purposes and for the services they sell to consumers? The answer, a new report from telecom consultancy Opensignal, says yes. Its analysis of data speeds on various phones shows that an average download speed boost of 150% to 300% on a 5G phone versus a 4G phone from the same hardware maker and on the same 5G network. For upload speeds, the difference was smaller, at no more than 200%—and with no upload speed boost from 5G in the UK.

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