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Advances in 5G Boosts Mobile Speeds in Taiwan

Advances in 5G Boosts Mobile Speeds in Taiwan

ARÍA F. VALENZUELA GÓMEZ 03 Feb 2021 Taiwan has seen considerable growth in its mobile performance since it issued its first 5G commercial license in July 2020. Using Speedtest Intelligence® data from Q4 2020, we explored how the emerging technology has affected overall mobile speeds, how much faster 5G was compared to 4G, which operator had the fastest 5G and what speeds look like in Taiwan’s largest metropolitan areas. Mobile internet speeds in Taiwan showed steady improvement Mobile internet speeds in Taiwan have steadily increased in the last two years thanks, in part, to 5G deployments across the country. In December 2020, Taiwan reached 16th place in the Speedtest Global IndexTM, an improvement from their 29th place ranking in January 2019. Looking at mean download speed over mobile on all technologies, Taiwan showed a 30.4% increase from 2019 to 2020. Mean Mobile Download Speeds in Taiwan Speedtest Intelligence® | 2019 - 2020 Download (Mbps) 2019 Download (Mbps) 2020 % Increase All Operators 42.20 55.01 30.4% 5G median download speed was 522% faster than 4G in Taiwan We compared 5G speeds in Taiwan to speeds over 4G using measurements from devices using modern chipsets. As expected, median download speed over 5G far exceeded that over 4G during Q4 2020, with 5G coming in 522.0% faster than 4G. We report 5G using median rather than mean speeds because the potential for outliers is high, so median gives a better expectation of the performance a consumer is likely to experience. FarEasTone was the fastest operator for 5G in Taiwan FarEasTone showed the fastest median download speed over 5G among mobile operators in Taiwan during Q4 2020, followed by Chunghwa Telecom. Taiwan Mobile was third and TSTAR fourth. Taoyuan showed the fastest 5G download speed in Q4 2020 Country-wide averages do not reflect the differences in performance that can occur between different metropolitan areas. We looked at median download speeds over 5G for Taiwan’s five most populous metropolitan areas during Q4 2020 to get a better understanding of how 5G performance varies in locations across the country. 5G download speeds varied among Taiwan’s largest metropolitan areas, but were not far from the country-wide average for 5G of 260.01 Mbps during this period. While it would appear that Taoyuan had the fastest median download speed over 5G at 265.01 Mbps, followed by Taipei at 261.79 Mbps and Taichung at 260.20 Mbps, the confidence intervals show that it’s really a toss-up between cities at the top of this list. Confidence intervals also make it impossible to declare a slowest city, though the slowest median download speed was measured in New Taipei at 236.69 Mbps. The expansion of 5G in Taiwan is exciting and has provided consumers with much faster mobile speeds. We look forward to seeing how this emerging technology continues to expand across the country and how it affects mobile performance in Taiwan. Sources : www.speedtest.net

AT&T scores fastest 5G network, Verizon’s availability drags down speed

AT&T scores fastest 5G network, Verizon’s availability drags down speed

by Bevin Fletcher | Jan 19, 2021 5:24pm While Verizon and T-Mobile lately seem to be competing largely with each other over network prowess, new results from Ookla named AT&T as the fastest U.S. mobile operator in Q4 – for both 4G and 5G. Average mobile download speeds overall climbed quickly in the U.S. during the fourth quarter – jumping more than 20 Mbps from about 47.13 Mbps in September to 67.33 Mbps in December, according to the latest Speedtest Global Index. That pushed the U.S. into the top 20 for global speed rankings, up from 33rd at the end of the third quarter. AT&T claimed network bragging rights for the top speed spot in the U.S. overall in Q4, with an Ookla Speedtest Speed Score of 50.27 – roughly three points higher than T-Mobile and nearly 10 points higher than fourth-place Verizon. Ookla is still reporting T-Mobile and Sprint separately until their post-merger network integration is fully complete (the latter placed third with a one-point lead on Verizon). Measures of both upload and download speeds are incorporated in Speed Scores, with 90% of the final attributed to download and remaining 10% attributed to upload. Notably, AT&T also nabbed the number one position for fastest 5G speeds while Verizon dropped to last place.  Speedtest 5G Speed Score Q4 2020 (Ookla) With its initial millimeter wave focused 5G strategy, Verizon often found itself at the top in terms of speed rankings and far outpacing competitors, but with barely-there availability. For example, Ookla results in Q3 showed Verizon’s 5G speed score at a whopping 792.5 Mbps, versus its closest competitor AT&T at 65.22. However, at that time Verizon users with a capable device were only connected to 5G a mere 0.6% of the time versus AT&T at 18.4%.  Fast forward and as noted in the analysis, Q4 saw a significant change to Verizon’s 5G network. The carrier rolled out ‘5G Nationwide’ using sub-6 GHz spectrum and dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) technology. That greatly expanded Verizon’s 5G footprint (covering 230 million people as of mid-December) and also coincided with the launch of the first 5G-capable iPhone. This time around AT&T is top for speed but last in time spent on 5G (albeit not as dramatic as the disparity between Verizon’s earlier speed and availability scores). Time spent on Verizon’s 5G shot up to 29.6% in Q4 and pushed AT&T, which also saw improvements in the category, to fourth place at 26%. “The dramatic increase in Verizon’s 5G Time Spent is the second half of the puzzle of the drop in performance as more users over a larger footprint are now accessing the network,” the Ookla report stated. Meanwhile, speeds on AT&T’s  5G network, which uses lower band spectrum, jumped more than 10 Mbps over the past three months to 75.59 Mbps.  T-Mobile nabbed second place for speed and continued its reign as carrier with most time spent on 5G (including for Sprint users roaming on the T-Mobile network).  T-Mobile has been touting its ‘Ultra Capacity 5G’ service where mid-band 2.5 GHz spectrum is deployed along with millimeter wave, covering 106 million people. The operator’s nationwide 5G network using 600 MHz spectrum covers 280 million people. In Q4 Speedtest users with a 5G-capable device connected to T-Mobile’s 5G network about 64% the time, and Sprint users were at 59%. That’s an increase from 54.4% and 47.6% in Q3, respectively. U.S. carriers have all taken different approaches to 5G, including different spectrum bands with different flavors of low-, mid- and high-band 5G. Dan Hays, US TMT Corporate Strategy Leader at PwC’s Strategy& consulting practice believes one challenge still facing the industry in significantly growing 5G penetration is the customer experience. “Coverage continues to be uneven and performance is not consistent,” he told Fierce. 5G expanded in 2020, with 5G covering three quarters of the U.S. population as of January 1, 2021 and device penetration at 8%, according to a new PwC Mobile Index. That’s expected to grow to 80% and 12% by July, respectively. “The industry has a significant opportunity to improve customer experience and also educate people on what they should be expecting from 5G,” Hays said. He acknowledged that 5G marketing is currently well ahead of 5G service at this point. “The [5G] experience will improve in terms of coverage as the networks get built out,” he said. “And spectrum deployment is certainly a key requirement but is unlikely to change things over night.” Based on mid-band auctions over the past year, Hays noted the industry is still likely 2 to 3 years out from when a sizable amount of that spectrum is fully deployed. Just last week the first phase of the FCC’s C-band auction for key mid-band spectrum licenses in the 3.7 GHz band wrapped up with more than $80 billion in gross proceeds. All three nationwide carriers participated but the question still remains of who came away with what.

Qualcomm powers FastWeb’s 5G fixed wireless CPE FWA in Italy

Qualcomm powers FastWeb’s 5G fixed wireless CPE FWA in Italy

Italian telecom operator FastWeb is geared up to commercially launch its 5G fixed wireless access service in 50 cities in Italy by year’s end, with customer premises equipment using Qualcomm’s X55 platform.   The companies have been working together over the last two years to prep FastWeb’s mmWave 5G FWA service. An initial rollout in the first three localities happened earlier this week, and plans call for expansion into 500 cities in 2021. By 2024 FastWeb expects to deliver 5G mmWave broadband to 12 million homes, or 45% of Italy’s population, with speeds of up to 1 Gbps. The 5G CPE device using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 Modem-RF System is mounted to the roof or side of houses to connect to nearby cell towers and deliver in-home service. “With the launch of our Ultra FWA connections we bring connectivity up to 1 Giga even in those areas that until now were not covered by ultrabroadband connections,” said Andrea Lasagna, CTO at FastWeb, in a statement.   FastWeb provides landline, broadband internet and IPTV service and has been focused on fiber-to-the-home (FTT deployments). Thirty cities are already covered with FastWeb’s 2.5 Gbps FTTH service, but the FWA roll out marks the first commercial 5G mmWave deployment in the region.  FastWeb was the first to start trialing 5G FWA in Italy, kicking off a five-month trial in Milan nearly two years ago with partner Samsung. The companies were working to demonstrate how the technology could serve as a cost effective and faster alternative to FTTH for gigabit home broadband.   In 2018 the operator scooped up 26 GHz mmWave at Italy’s 5G spectrum auction. Along with 5G FWA, mobile 5G service is expected to be available starting December 27. That includes the cities of Milan, Bologna, Rome, and Naples. Coverage targets aim for 90% of the country’s population by 2025. 5G FWA FWT gains traction Fixed wireless access itself isn’t new, but the technology has gained renewed attention and interest. That’s been seen at a time when home broadband needs intensified, and the issue of the digital divide became even more pressing this year amid the pandemic.   Still, a recent presentation by Shiv Putcha, founder and principal analyst at Mandala Insights noted that most operators are still focused on suburban and urban locations rather than rural. The firm projected 5G FWA users to reach nearly 500 million by 2030.  According to GSA, there are already 38 regional and national providers in the U.S. offering LTE-based fixed wireless service. In the U.S. Verizon offers a mmWave 5G fixed wireless service in about a dozen markets, markets, as well as FWA based on 4G LTE.  T-Mobile too has rolled out an expanded 4G LTE fixed wireless home broadband pilot, with a focused on more rural locations, with plans to offer 5G-based FWA in 2021. Major vendors are also showing their support. Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia this month joined the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GS) 4G-5G Fixed Wireless Access Forum to advocate for development and uptake of the technology. And while mmWave 5G is usually considered only suited for short-range or dense urban areas, tests involving Qualcomm, alongside operators and vendor partners including Ericsson, have shown how new 5G mmWave CPE can extend the range of high-band mmWave signals. Earlier this month, for example, Italy’s TIM hit 1 Gbps with Qualcomm and Ericsson using 5G FWA on 26 GHz – at a distance of 6.5 kilometers between device and base station. US cellular, meanwhile, demonstrated viability of mmWave for rural areas, completing an extended range data call over roughly 3 miles at speeds above 100 Mbps.

South Korea's 5G network speed reaches 691Mbps per second

South Korea's 5G network speed reaches 691Mbps per second

The average download speed on the high-speed network from the country's three major mobile carriers -- SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG Uplus Corp -- stood at 690.47 megabits per second (Mbps) in the second half of the year, up 33.91 Mbps from the first half, according to data from the Ministry of Science and ICT. ·         December 30, 2020, 10:56 IST Seoul: South Korea's 5G download speed and overall quality improved in the second half of the year from the first half as the country races to deploy nationwide coverage of the latest generation network, a report showed on Wednesday. The average download speed on the high-speed network from the country's three major mobile carriers -- SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG Uplus Corp -- stood at 690.47 megabits per second (Mbps) in the second half of the year, up 33.91 Mbps from the first half, according to data from the Ministry of Science and ICT. SK Telecom had the fastest average download speed at 795.57 Mbps, followed by KT at 667.48 Mbps and LG Uplus at 608.49 Mbps. The country's average 4G LTE download speed reached 153.1 Mbps, more than four times slower than the average 5G speed, reports Yonhap news agency. The ministry publishes data on mobile network quality biannually to encourage network investment by mobile carriers. South Korea was the first country to commercialise 5G in April last year and has quickly built up a significant 5G user base of nearly 10 million as of end-October, around 14 percent of the country's total 70 million mobile subscriptions. The network, however, has faced quality issues, such as limited coverage and slower-than-expected speeds, prompting more than half a million 5G users to switch to 4G LTE through August this year, according to Rep. Hong Jung-min of the ruling Democratic Party. The latest report found that the network's quality and accessibility improved compared to the first half of the year. South Korea currently offers the non-standalone version of 5G, requiring support from 4G LTE. South Korea is aiming for nationwide 5G coverage by 2022, and the three major carriers have promised to spend up to 25.7 trillion won ($24 billion) in total to update network infrastructure by that year. MaxComm has partnered with Korean local distributors to explore Korean 5G CPE FWA/FWT markets with MaxComm’s 5G FWT FWA CPE products.

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