It’s easy to assume that cellular data is slower than the average Wi-Fi. However, if this was true just a few years ago, it is no longer the case. According to a study conducted by OpenSignal in 33 countries around the world, mobile data now offers a faster download experience than Wi-Fi.
Mobile internet faster than Wi-Fi in over 30 countries
In most regions where broadband is relatively fast (the United States, Singapore, and Hong Kong, for example), there is little difference between wireless and mobile network speeds. However, many African, European, and South American countries experience a huge difference between cellular and Wi-Fi speeds.
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One of the most striking shortcomings is found in Australia: a 13 Mbps advantage for mobile data over wireless. Lebanon follows closely – although the overall speeds of both types of networks are significantly slower, mobile data also has a huge advantage.
Differences between mobile and Wi-Fi speeds in several countries. / © OpenSignal
The OpenSignal study has also pointed out that “new mobile network technology increases the superiority of mobile”. In 63% of countries, 4G mobile networks offer faster downloads than Wi-Fi. In seven other regions, even 3G has a modest advantage. This means that with the advent and adoption of 5G, the gap will only grow. Broadband Internet service providers need to make hasty improvements if they are not to be left behind in the near future.
However, the study also asks users themselves to re-evaluate whether they want to use Wi-Fi as often as they want. Most current smartphones automatically switch to Wi-Fi as soon as it becomes available without performing any quality / speed checks (there are exceptions such as Huawei devices). Going forward, this might not be an optimal decision. At the moment, a large number of users still have cell phone plans with limited data. Wi-Fi might therefore be preferable despite its lower speed.
What do you think? Is your mobile network faster than your Wi-Fi network? Let us know in the comments.