Mobile network download speeds faster than Wi-Fi in many countries

Mobile network download speeds are faster than Wi-Fi in many countries, according to research by wireless coverage mapping firm OpenSignal.

Speed tests were carried out in a total of 80 countries. Mobile connections were found to be faster than Wi-Fi in 33 nations (41% of countries studied). 

The benefit of using a mobile network was greatest in Australia, where smartphone users experienced average download speeds 13 Mbps faster on mobile than Wi-Fi. 

Other countries with mobile network speeds beating Wi-Fi included Qatar (+11.8 Mbps); Turkey (+7.3 Mbps); Mexico (+1.5 Mbps) and South Africa (+5.7 Mbps).


Only ten years ago Wi-Fi was universally faster than mobile network speeds. However, newer mobile network technology has given mobile networks an advantage over wifi in many markets.

“The perception that mobile networks are inferior to wi-fi has persisted, wrongly,” wrote analyst Ian Fogg in the report.

The researchers found that 4G networks were faster than Wi-Fi in 50 countries, or 63% of those studied. Countries where 4G download speeds were higher than Wi-Fi, but not overall on mobile, include Bangladesh, Brazil, Finland, and Vietnam.

Many mobile networks are preparing to launch 5G services, which will eventually offer gigabit speeds, next year. Fogg expects a further speed boost when 5G networks arrived. 

Fogg said 5G will accelerate the advantage of mobile technology “because of the pace of mobile innovation and the dependency of Wifi network experiences on the quality of fixed network broadband deployments which are slow and expensive to upgrade with fiber to the premise (FTTP).”