The U.S. lags behind much of the rest of the developed world in mobile internet speeds, ranking 28th.
The U.K. has the fastest mobile speeds, with an average of 26 megabits per second, according to the latest State of the Internet Report by content delivery company Akamai. Among the 62 countries Akamai measured, the U.S. isn’t even in the Top 25, at 10.7 Mbps. (The U.S. ranks 10th in the world for average wireline internet speed.)
Measuring mobile internet speeds is increasingly more important as mobile takes up a bigger share of our overall internet usage and as people increasingly use phones as their main source of internet.
And as anyone with a smartphone knows, 4G LTE is only 4G LTE in some places. As an especially large country, coverage levels vary significantly in the U.S., even within the same city — not to mention rural areas where the network options are further limited.
U.S. telecoms are in the process of rolling out newer, faster networks, so the speed will improve. But don’t get too excited. Network technologies like 5G are still in testing.
While fixed internet is speedier than mobile in general, some countries have chosen to prioritize mobile. Several countries in Asia and Africa that had lagged the rest of the world on fixed internet infrastructure focused on building out mobile infrastructure instead. Kenya, for example, now has the 14th-fastest average mobile internet speed — and it’s faster than the country’s average wireline speed.