Sweden has the world’s fastest 4G LTE network, US lagging behind at eighth place

by: Brad WardFebruary 14, 2013

LTE OpenSignal bandwidth tests

According to a study conducted by UK based network testing firm OpenSignal, Sweden was the first country to introduce an LTE network. Sweden was ranked first place with having the world’s fastest LTE network coming in at 22.1Mbps. The study pointed out that the US was the second country to introduce an LTE network, but is placed eighth in terms of bandwidth provided coming in at a measly 9.6Mbps.

OpenSignal found that LTE networks in Sweden, Denmark, South Korea, Germany, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong all performed better than the US. Tech publication GigaOM mentions that the reason for this could be that most operators in the world were able to acquire 40MHz spectrum.

Operators like Verizon and AT&T in the US could only acquire 20MHz spectrum, which is half the rest of the world is using. In fact, carriers like MetroPCS and Sprint are working with a mere 10MHz spectrum. This means that AT&T and Verizon have half the potential bandwidth other carriers around the world has. This also means that Sprint and MetroPCS are using half of what Verizon and Sprint uses, which means potential bandwidth is even slower with these carriers.

That sort of explains why the US is lagging behind. It is important to note that Sweden does not have as much LTE coverage as the US does though. Although some would argue that that does not matter, hence the saying “quality over quantity.”

  • Not entirely true. The frequencies dedicated to LTE or “Advanced Wireless Services” exclusively are limited that is true, but when LTE is deployed on 800 ESMR, 850 Cellular, 1900 PCS and higher frequencies it will have more than 5 or 10 or 20mhz of spectrum to use, boosting the speed. In fact, Sprint is already in the process of opening up their 1900 Mhz blocks, and not just the D block they currently use for LTE, as each day goes on and Network Vision is deployed, so that way, they can take advantage of additional spectrum immediately. I say give us 2 more years and when the spectrum shifts are all in order, we wont worry about slow speeds.

  • Jodie

    I get 45mbps running 4G through Verizon Wireless

  • Uffe_Malmo

    A more likely reason is that Apple does not support the Swedish LTE frequences on any of their products so we don’t have those users lagging up the network for the rest of us.

  • ss

    I got 82 mps here in stockholm with xperia V