Australia's 4G networks have been around for a few years now. They've evolved a lot. Mobile network coverage mappers OpenSignal have tracked our progress over the years, and we're improving — but we're not improving as fast as some of our competitors.
The latest State of LTE report from OpenSignal shows Australia continuing to perform well, but not making the significant jumps that some of our national competitors are. As in its November 2016 report, OpenSignal's tests show South Korea continuing to lead the back in the speed and ubiquity of 4G around the country — its 96.38% availability score is even higher than the 95.71% of six months ago.
Globally, Australia ranks 19th — falling six spots from our 13th place score in November of last year. We're understandably eclipsed by countries like Japan, Hong Kong and Norway, which have excellent reputations in the 4G world, but also by the United States, which — if you've been over there — can have some pretty spotty coverage outside of dense metro areas. In Australia, you can expect to be in 4G coverage nearly 80 per cent of the time.
Australia is 10th in the speed of its 4G networks, with average downloads of 33.76Mbps over our fastest cellular networks. Singapore and South Korea lead the pack with 45.62 and 43.46Mbps respectively. Don't travel to India or Costa Rica if you want fast mobile downloads, though — they're equal lowest in the rankings, tying for last place with average download speeds of 5.14Mbps.
OpenSignal makes the point that Australia's had a long time to optimise and improve the speed and availability of 4G across the country. We were one of the first in the world to adopt 4G — Telstra spearheaded it with the HTC Velocity 4G handset back in early 2012 — and we've had constant upgrades in terms of the tech, like LTE-Advanced and gigabit speeds. [OpenSignal]