As several of the world’s earliest next-generation cellular carriers have unveiled their peak 5G network speeds, others have relied on uncertain promises of “blazing fast” performance to set customer expectations. Today, crowdsourced network coverage service Opensignal actually discovers early 5G service performance in the first country with “widespread 5G adoption” South Korea and the numbers are compelling, as much for where they’re strong as where they’re unsubstantial.
Opensignal found that South Korean 5G users were seeing 111.8Mbps real-world average download speeds, versus 75.8Mbps average speeds with flagship 4G phones that support the fastest or near-fastest late-stage LTE technologies. As other smartphone users saw download speed averaging 47.7Mbps, the study said, with all data coming exclusively from South Korean cities where 5G has been introduced.
This doesn’t mean that 5G speeds are only 111.8Mbps, rather the 5G service being offered to users on a somewhat inconsistent basis has been delivering that speed on average across all cell towers. While 5G phones can take advantage of faster 5G cell towers when they’re available, they otherwise fall back to 4G, bringing down their numbers.