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CELLSMART research reveals mobile operators must increase upload speeds on their 5G networks to be enterprise-ready

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CELLSMART, the cellular intelligence division of SmartCIC, has launched its Global Cellular Performance Survey, which found that 5G networks are delivering high download speeds while lagging in upload speeds that support enterprise applications. The global average 5G download speed between March and May 2022 was 241.61 Mbps while upload speeds were only 31.27 Mbps. Upload speeds only showed an increase of 55% over the 4G global average, while download speeds leapt by 330%. As enterprises look to 5G for connectivity to drive agile solutions, they will need faster speeds to support data transfer.

The CELLSMART Global Cellular Performance Survey collects data from telecoms network engineers working in the field to provide an up-to-date snap shot of actual performance across cellular technologies. It is using the data it collects in its planning, network selection and service development and monitoring for fixed wireless enterprise customers.

Top 5 Metro Markets – 5G Average Download Speed
• Cannes (France)
• Munich (Germany)
• Nashville (US)
• Oslo (Norway)
• Singapore

“The research shows how MNOs have prioritised 5G download speeds in their initial rollouts and now there’s an opportunity to focus on enterprise demand for rapid upstream data transfer. 5G networks are showing upload speeds that are 13% of their download speeds while 4G has a balanced download/upload symmetry with 36%,” said Toby Forman, CEO at SmartCIC. “Based on the research sample, we saw 5G delivering higher latency than 4G in some cases. This may be due to a number of the 5G tests being run on low-band networks. Where results have been taken in areas with mmWave, there are dramatically different results including downloads in excess of 800mbps, uploads in excess of 250mbps and latencies of sub 10ms.”

For capturing network performance data, speed tests were run by 2,536 telecoms network engineers across 51 countries in 331 unique locations globally. Each engineer conducted the tests independently in the field and submitted result anonymously between March 25, 2022 and May 6, 2022. Data samples were collected from Africa, Asia, Australia, the Americas and Europe. The CELLSMART team did the data analysis.

Top 5 Mobile Network Operators – Maximum Download Speeds (All Technologies)
• du (UAE)
• Telia (Sweden)
• Deutsche Telekom (Germany)
• EE (UK)
• Singtel (Singapore)

“We went out to our global network of 25,000 engineers and asked them to log network performance wherever they were operating. Over time, as we see more results added to our database and we’ll be able to provide an accurate and evolving snapshot of how cellular technologies are performing in the field. This initial cut of data is just the start of the process. As we begin to see greater density of results globally we will those into insights for our customers and the broader market,” said Forman. “We did this because this information simply didn’t exist on a global scale and we believe the market needs intelligent cellular solutions.”

Read next: Voice-over-5G to reach 2.5 billion users by 2026, finds Juniper

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