A focus on low-band 5G deployments resulted in the US ranking in last place in an Opensignal analysis of typical data rates for the technology spanning 12 countries.
The company stated average download rates in the US stand at 50.9Mb/s, significantly lower than leader Saudi Arabia which registered 414.2Mb/s.
Opensignal cited a focus on low-band deployments as a factor in the US performance, noting operators had tended to focus on coverage over outright speed. All except for Verizon, which rated highly in a previous analysis by the research outfit due to its use of mmWave spectrum.
However, Opensignal noted low-band spectrum provides “excellent availability and reach” compared with higher bands, resulting in the US taking fifth-place in a measure of time spent connected to 5G.
But the nation took another hit as Opensignal revealed data rates combining 4G and 5G, ranking second-to-last with rates of 33.4Mb/s. Saudi Arabia again topped the table, racking up typical rates of 144.5Mb/s by this measure.