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South Korea tops in LTE network speeds
August 10, 2017, 4:23 pm

South Korea again came out on top in terms of cellular network data speeds among 87 countries included in the latest worldwide network testing conducted by OpenSignal.

The latest findings showed South Korean mobile customers experiencing average network speeds of 37.5 megabits per second, with various iterations of LTE technology most likely supporting those speeds.

Cellular customers in Norway recorded the second highest average speeds at 34.77 Mbps, followed by Hungary at 31.04 Mbps, Singapore at 30.05 Mbps and Australia at 26.25 Mbps.

In terms of North America, Canada was No. 12 on the list with an average speed of 20.26 Mbps, the United States was No. 36 at 12.48 Mbps and Mexico was No. 49 with an average speed of 9.91 Mbps.

OpenSignal noted its numbers are based on data recorded over a three-month period beginning last November and included more than 19.2 billion data points from nearly 1.1 million users and involved both indoor and outdoor usage.

OpenSignal looked not at 4G or 3G speed individually, but rather at the aggregate speed users experienced across all of a country’s mobile data networks. This allowed the company to paint a more holistic picture of the typical mobile data experience as it factors in not only the performance of different types of networks, but the amount of access customers have to each of them.

With South Korea leading in LTE speeds it is no surprise that South Korean firm Samsung is the first to come out with an LTE modem that is way ahead of the curve in terms of speed.

Samsung announced last week that the next version of modem on its Exynos chipsets will support up to six carrier aggregation (6CA), allowing it to hypothetically reach download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps.

Carrier aggregation is a method where LTE speeds are increased by using multiple LTE bands across the spectrum at the same time, resulting in increased bandwidth speeds. Samsung’s latest smartphone, the S8, uses a Exynos 9 processor which offers 5CA.  In other words, while the Galaxy S8 might have been the first gigabit smartphone, its successor, the Galaxy S9 could offer up to 20 percent faster data speeds due to the new tech.

Of course, supporting 6CA on Samsung’s side of things is only half of the solution — telecommunication carriers will need to switch on support for 6CA on their end, too. As of earlier this year, most carriers in the US and elsewhere had just added support for three-carrier aggregation (3CA), so there is still a long way to go before Samsung’s new modem has its potential fully realized.

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