A Q1 ranking report has sniffed out the comparative strengths of 5G roll-outs around the world. Here’s the global top 10 countries in 5G experience, with 4 from APAC.

How have 5G roll-outs around the world been faring? Are the real-world user experiences across all frequency bands matching the hype behind the technology? A recent ranking report has revealed some possible indicators.

According to analyses by mobile analytics firm Opensignal between 1 Jan through 31 March this year, the leading cities offer a significantly better 5G experience than national scores. Users in the city of Jeonju had both the fastest average 5G Download Speed of any city in South Korea as well as the fastest experience in any city analyzed. Jeonju’s 5G download speed of 415.6Mbps was 15% faster than South Korea’s national result.

Elsewhere, only three cities in the 5G global top 10 are capital cities: Riyadh, Tokyo, and Dublin. Of the other cities, several are key business center: Dubai, Zurich and Barcelona. Also, the fastest 5G city in Spain and Australia top their local rival cities, with Melbourne beating Sydney to be Australia’s fastest city, and Barcelona topping Spain’s capital Madrid.

Those living in Canada’s most highly populated cities Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver must venture to the winter sports destination of Calgary to see Canada’s fastest average 5G download speed.

Summary of other rankings

According to the report, South Korea has again topped the ranking for 5G download speed, and Taiwan has jumped to the top of the 5G upload speed chart this time. Also:

  • Japan placed highly in both 5G download speed (231.5 Mbps) and 5G peak download speed (856.5 Mbps).
  • In Europe, Finland had the highest average 5G download speed (219.5 Mbps), the Netherlands had the highest average 5G upload speed in Europe with 34.7 Mbps, and Greece, Spain and Switzerland all had higher 5G peak download speeds. 
  • 5G ‘Games Experience’ had the biggest range of values across the top 10, with South Korea jumping to the top position this time. Overall, the top 10 positions for 5G Games Experience are split between European markets and Asia Pacific region, with five from Europe and four from APAC.
  • For the ‘Games Experience’ and ‘Voice Experience’ rankings, six of the top 10 are from Europe. Markets in Asia dominate the top positions for download speed, peak download speed and the video experience categories.
  • Users in the markets with fastest 5G download speeds (South Korea, Taiwan and the UAE) also saw some of the greatest improvement over 4G and were in the top 10 for seeing improvements of 5.8x, 8.6x, and 6.1x with 5G. These results indicate that all markets are able to benefit from 5G: even those where the 4G experience is already very good.
  • A number of large and early 5G markets miss out on a top 10 position. For example, while Germany is among the top 10 for 5G Upload Speed, it misses out on both 5G Download Speed and 5G Peak Download Speed and 5G Video Experience. Similarly, Italy misses out from placing in the leaderboard in all the 5G categories.
  • The benefit of 5G was clearest when 5G results were compared with the older 4G or LTE network technology. Users in Thailand and the Philippines saw the biggest improvement in their experience using 5G compared with 4G. Looking at average download speeds, users in those markets saw approximately 10x faster experiences with 5G. For the video experience category, Thai users’ scores were almost one third better when using 5G.

In terms of connectibility, more users were able to connect to 5G more of the time. For ‘5G Availability’ — the time connected to an active 5G signal — seven markets scored over 20% or one fifth of the time, up from six markets in the previous quarter.

Similarly, in terms of locations where users can get a usable 5G signal, four markets scored 5 or more on a 10-point scale, up from 3 in the previous quarter, indicating that in over half the locations users being surveyed were able to experience 5G.